ASFMRA AgNews - Vol. 13 Issue XLVI [October 30, 2018]

By ASFMRA Press posted 10-29-2018 19:03


Lawsuit Over Pot, Property Values Could Have Broad Impacts

DENVER — A federal trial in Colorado could have far-reaching effects on the United States’ budding marijuana industry if a jury sides with a couple who say having a cannabis business as a neighbor hurts their property’s value.

The trial set to begin Monday in Denver is the first time a jury will consider a lawsuit using federal anti-racketeering law to target cannabis companies. But the marijuana industry has closely watched the case since 2015, when attorneys with a Washington, D.C.-based firm first filed their sweeping complaint on behalf of Hope and Michael Reilly.

One of the couple’s lawyers, Brian Barnes, said the Reillys bought the southern Colorado land for its views of Pikes Peak and have since built a house on the rural property. They also hike and ride horses there.

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Despite Low Prices, Trade Wars, this Ag Downturn is 'Piece of Cake' Compared to 1980s

Rockwell City, Ia. — A twisted shaft in Randy Stoud's corn head earlier this month had him calling a half-dozen Midwest suppliers to see if he could replace the part.

More than likely, he'll repair the combine himself, a practice that began in the 1980s farm crisis, "when we didn't have a nickel," he said.

In many ways, the lessons learned in the 1980s shaped how Stoud and his wife, Cindy, farm today. They rely as little as possible on lenders and they've expanded their Rockwell City corn and soybean operation conservatively.

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Farmland Sale: Schrader Auction Release Results From 85-Tract Land Sale

Land sales don’t get much more epic than the October 17 auction of Illinois farm and hunting ground. It was epic in every way: size (4,396 acres), volume (85 tracts), and proceeds ($13,056,280).

R.D. Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company, which conducted the event, says the property featured 43 different buyers, with 176 registered bidders from 10 states. “Competition was intense for the tillable land, with both farmers and investors emerging as the high bidders on tracts,” he says.

The October 17 auction included 2,503 tillable acres, the rest in pasture and wooded recreational land in Franklin, Williamson, Hamilton, and Saline counties. Originally, 4,810 acres were slated to sell, but 414 acres were withheld from the auction. The owners are taking offers on those properties.

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How Farmers Can Survive Tariffs

In America’s farm country, the fear is palpable. In recent months, I’ve talked to dairy farm owners in Wisconsin, grain and soy farmers in the Dakotas, and stockmen in California who worry that President Donald Trump’s tariff wars will trigger a new farm crisis. Many predict hard times to rival the epidemic of bankruptcies that devastated American farms in the 1980s.

The tariffs aren’t helping, it’s true. But Trump’s trade dispute is just the latest factor in a longer-term decline in farm income. Other pressures have been wearing down farmers’ reserves of capital, soil and patience for years. There’s the rising cost of energy, water and agrichemicals, for example, and a rash of climate disasters.

Yet the roots of the problem go even deeper — to the massive monocultures that dominate the American heartland.

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DowDuPont Slips, Reflecting Weaker Farm Market

DowDuPont Inc. fell after cutting the asset value of its DuPont Co. agriculture business by $4.6 billion, less than nine months before a planned spinoff of the seed-and-pesticide unit.

The impairment charge reflects weaker markets for farm products since last year’s merger with Dow Chemical Co., DuPont said in a regulatory filing. Reduced planting areas and delays in product registrations mean that sales will grow more slowly, while an unfavorable shift to soybeans from corn in Latin America will dent profits.

The financial hit, while not a drain on cash, underscores the struggles in agriculture that are buffeted the world’s largest chemical maker. Farmers in Brazil are planting more soybeans and less corn, for example, to capitalize on China’s retaliatory tariffs against U.S. soybeans. Currency weakness in the South American country, a key market, is also weighing on DowDuPont’s farm business.

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New Appraisal Standards Board Q&A Video

Confused about inspection requirements and hybrid appraisals in light of new technologies available? The Appraisal Standards Board tackles these issues in this informative 15-minute discussion.

Click here to view this video on The Appraisal Foundation's YouTube Channel!
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Second Round of Trump Tariff Payments is Coming, USDA Says

The Trump administration will begin a second, multibillion-dollar round of payments to soybean, cotton, pork, dairy, sorghum, wheat, and corn producers by December, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday.

"I can confirm there will be a second tranche," Perdue told reporters after a swearing-in ceremony for the new director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. "Again, we are continuing to look at market conditions. We are discussing this really as we speak. Quite frankly, right now, we see no change in the amount that would change our minds about a different amount." (The rates for each of the commodities are listed below.)

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