ASFMRA AgNews - Vol. 13 Issue XLIII [October 9, 2018]

By ASFMRA Press posted 10-08-2018 18:27


Farmland Values Down 3.5% in 60 Countries

Farmland values in the central and southern 60 counties in Illinois have declined by an average of 3.53 percent, according Farm Credit Illinois’ annual benchmark study. This marked the fourth consecutive year farmland values have declined. The market peaked in 2014 and began the first decline in more than a decade in 2015 with an average decrease in value of 1.51 percent.
In 2016 and 2017 results showed a continued average annual decline in value of 6.34 percent and 4.17 percent, respectively.

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US Farm Leaders Give Their Perspectives on New Trade Deal

As harvesters rolled over U.S. fields, the Trump Administration announced Oct. 1 the birth of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, the results of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.

The week prior, the administration championed a new agreement with Korea and negotiations for one with Japan progressed. A China trade deal remained locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle with the U.S.

The details of the agreement were being vetted by U.S. agricultural interest groups and USMCA awaited Congressional approval. The initial general attitude among U.S. ag leaders, however, was one of optimistic relief as the uncertainty of what would become of NAFTA was alleviated.

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Sales Reflect Crop Yields This Fall

Even though crops were ready, persistent rainfall across many areas of Iowa delayed early harvest activity this fall. Early yield reports have been strong in eastern Iowa, while early yield totals in other areas have been more variable, especially in the central, north-central and northwest crop reporting districts.

A more complete accounting of yield results will soon be reported. Despite variable growing-season conditions in Iowa, expectations were high for prospective yield totals.

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Dare to Drone

John and Ben Ridder are a classic story of the younger generation showing the way on a new technology. John Ridder is the owner (along with his wife, Heidi, and his parents, Glenn and Yvonne Ridder) of Falling Timber Farm, a purebred Polled Hereford ranch. But it’s his 14-year-old son, Ben, who runs the drone on the 200-cow ranch in Marthasville, Missouri.

“Since I was a kid, I’ve liked playing with helicopters,” says Ben. “Then in school I got interested in photography. This lets me combine them.”

Just this past March, the Ridders bought their first drone with a camera. “We’re still experimenting, but already we can go out to a field and check a hay feeder with the drone and know when it’s empty,” he says.

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Farmers Share Snapshots Of #Harvest18

Each season brings its own surprises and memorable experiences, and harvest is no different. Check out what these farmers are sharing on Twitter. What's been your favorite moment of harvest so far?

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Is It A Good Time To Restructure Interest Rates?

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee has increased interest rates four times this year. During press comments following the FOMC’s September meeting, Federal Reserve chairman Jeremey Powell indicated rates would increase again in December and into next year. Should that spur farmers to fix some variable rate loans?

It’s very likely the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates again in December and maybe twice more in 2019, says Gary Sipiorski, a former Wisconsin banker and now Dairy Development Manager for Vita Plus, Inc. Sipiorski serves on a Midwest Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve.

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USDA Website Puts Soils Information, Tools at Your Fingertips

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2018 – USDA has re-designed its Soil Tools web page, to now serve as a one-stop source for new, leading-edge tools and technologies to help farmers, ranchers, and other land users understand, evaluate and conserve soils.

Managed by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the web page offers single-site access to soil data and maps, soil databases, digital soil applications, climate data, descriptions of soils, ecological sites, statistical packages and soil-property calculators. The USDA maps and information are free with no user ID or password required.

“Along with air, sunlight and water, soil is one of the four building blocks of life on earth,” said Dave Hoover, Director of the National Soil Survey Center. “Soil is tied, in some way, to everything we use as a society. This new web portal makes it easy to find and use soils data, and provides unique, interactive tools for all customers of soils information.”

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