ASFMRA AgNews - January 29, 2019

By ASFMRA Press posted 01-28-2019 11:32


Farmland Rental Rates Holding Steady But with Exceptions

As many farmers and their landlords renegotiate rental agreements that expired after the 2018 crop season, this generalization about farmland rental rates appears sound: “In places with good (2018) yields they’re steady. Where the yields were average or below-average, they’re going a little lower,” said Jack Davis, South Dakota State University Extension crops business management field specialist.

One example: Poor 2018 sugar beet yields in the Willmar, Minn., area are pushing down rental rates this winter, said Noah Hultgren, a Willmar farmer and real estate agent.

Davis’ comment about South Dakota echoes what others in Upper Midwest agriculture are saying: Though poor commodity prices and marginal, even nonexistent profits are putting downward pressure on overall farmland rental rates, other factors — including land values, rising property taxes and strong 2018 yields in some areas — are mitigating the decline.

Other factors, particularly the relationship between the landlord and the farmer, also influence what happens with rental rates this year.

Where will Rental Rates go in 2019?

What’s the Outlook for the Rural Economy? Here are 10 Factors that May Affect You

The rural economy, like the many arms of agriculture that help support it, is a complex system. While production agriculture is one of the main drivers in the rural economy (oil and gas being the other), what happens outside rural America both here and abroad has a big influence on what happens at the ranch gate.

Cobank, which is part of the Farm Credit System, has released a 2019 outlook report that details the economic situation projected for the U.S., as well as other major countries. I won’t look at every aspect of the report, but let’s focus on a few things that might be important as we look down the road. You can read the full report here.

The U.S. economy is still performing well by most key measures, according to the report. However, consumers, investors, companies and other market participants have become more wary about the near-term future with seemingly good reason. Global and U.S. economic prospects are weakening and the agricultural economy shows few signs of an imminent comeback.

Read all 10 Factors.

Top Data Trends for Agribusiness in 2019

As another year passes, business leaders are wise to examine their current operations and consider their position in the marketplace. 2019 will undoubtedly see further emergence of new data technologies. Businesses that adapt are well-placed to use these technologies in order to thrive – businesses that do not or are slow to react are likely to face mounting challenges from their customer base and lose out on productivity gains.

For businesses in the supply chain, data solutions can form the backbone of sustainable growth, ensuring robust internal operations that are future-proofed and primed for data integration and insight which presents a potential landscape of dynamic new services and ways of working adding value to both businesses and their customers.

Here Jeff Bradshaw, CTO at Proagrica, the agriculture and animal health data connectivity specialist that rethinks conventional business practice and system architecture provides his take on four predictions which he believes will be driving the agribusiness sector in 2019 to make it more connected and more grounded in data and insight unlocking value across the whole supply chain:

Get to Know the Trends for 2019.

Key Issues to Consider with New Farm Bill

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 does not move far away from the basics of the 2014 law, but several changes will make a difference in how farmers decide which to elect.

The following are a few key points for consideration, while watching upcoming market outlook and farm bill video and webinars.

ARC and PLC election options updated

Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Price Loss Coverage provides producer assistance when the market price for a covered commodity falls below the statutory reference price.

Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC). Agricultural Risk Coverage provides producer assistance when actual crop revenue for a covered commodity falls below 86 percent of the benchmark revenue. Producers electing ARC have the option of choosing between county (CO) and farm‐level (IC) coverage.

ARC and PLC Choices. Producers can choose between Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) on a crop‐by‐crop and farm‐by‐farm basis: First, 2019 election will be applied jointly to the 2019 and 2020 crop years, and, starting with crop year 2021, producers will may make an annual decision between Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage on a crop‐by‐crop and farm‐by‐farm basis for crop years 2021, 2022, and 2023.

More Things to Take into Consideration.

The Business of Agriculture: Succession Is a Family Affair

Agricultural enterprises constantly confront swarms of problems and issues as they try to be profitable and sustainable, but often there’s one in particular that hovers over everything, that vexes the owners for years and, occasionally, spells doom for the business. It’s the matter of succession — what will become of the farm when the present generation ages out and whether or not there’ll be the talent, interest and wherewithal to carry it forward.

The route to a successful transfer of a farm to a new generation of ownership can be a bumpy one, given all the financial and tax matters, and unfortunately, efforts can end up in a morass of anger and bitterness and even litigation. Underlying the whole undertaking are complicated emotions that invariably come with long-standing family commitments and deep attachment to the very land upon which the farm exists.

Read More on Family Ag Succession.

Commentary: Farming for Profit in Good Times and Bad

“You load 16 tons and what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt.” Tennessee Ernie Ford’s 1955 hit came to mind as I walked the Fort Wayne Farm show this past week. I had a lot of company as the crowd of farmers was good but, like me, they were walking and not buying. The day before the show began, the corn and soybean futures market suffered double digit losses that further fueled the feeling of pessimism that pervades the farm sector these days. Yet, there remains the bedrock of dogged determination on which most in farming are rooted. If we can just find a way to survive, things are going to get better.

The challenge, however, is finding that way to survive. For many, the things that worked in the past are not working any longer. Simply buying or renting more land, building more storage, borrowing more money, or just doing without have been tactics used to make it through lean times. Yet today, these are not possible or as helpful as they once were. New techniques, new practices, new technology, and a new philosophy may be required.

Make it Through the Ups and Downs.

Bayer Gives Glimpse At Future

The newly formed Bayer Crop Science division cites three platforms driving innovation: seeds & traits, crop protection, and digital ag.

President of Bayer’s Crop Science division Liam Condon and Bob Reiter, head of research and development, provided details on the company’s innovation pipeline in early January. Bayer has 75 projects in the crop science portfolio being advanced through the pipeline, and these span the three platforms of seeds and traits, crop protection, and digital.

It’s those three platforms that are providing a unique advantage to the company’s capabilities says Condon.

What Does Bayer Have In Store?

Corteva Launches New Soybean Tech

U.S. producers will have access to at least two more seed options when the growing season arrives.

Yesterday, Corteva Agriscience, DowDuPont’s ag division, announced it is commercially launching the Enlist E3 soybean technology, and expanding its launch of Qrome corn hybrids across the Corn Belt.

The Enlist soybean trait provides tolerance to new 2,4-D choline in Enlist Duo and One herbicides, as well as glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides, Corteva says.

“Additional tolerance to glufosinate means (growers) can utilize three post-emerge herbicide modes of action in Enlist E3 soybean fields,” the organization said in a statement.

Corteva reps are excited about the crop protection traits associated with Enlist E3.

"I am excited to announce one of the largest soybean technology system launches ever,” James Collins, CEO of Corteva Agriscience, said in the statement.

Discover the New Seed Options.

What Farmers Need to Know About Growing Hemp

Farmers have a lot of questions about hemp, so we asked expert Michael Bowman, founding chair of the National Hemp Association, to answer a few. Bowman will share his tips on the rapidly expanding hemp industry at the Land Investment Expo on Friday, January 25, 2019, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Tickets are still available.

SF: What is the history of hemp?

MB: Hemp was poised to be a billion-dollar crop in the 1930s with Henry Ford a big supporter, but the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 killed the growth of the industry. We had a brief respite during WWII with the Hemp for Victory campaign, in which we grew hundreds of thousands of acres in six Midwestern states, but the tax was reenacted after the war. Then in 1970, President Nixon included hemp in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act as his middle finger to the anti-war people.

See What Else Michael Has to Say.

First-Time Appraisal Test Takers Increased 23 Percent in 2018

First-Time Millennial Test Takers Increased 200 Percent

(Washington, DC) January 24, 2019 – The number of individuals sitting for the first time for one of the three National Uniform Licensing and Certification Exams increased significantly, with the number of Millennial test takers experiencing the steepest rise among all age groups in 2018, according to data prepared exclusively for The Appraisal Foundation by PSI Services, LLC.

1,459 individuals sat for the first time for one of three appraisal exams— Certified General, Certified Residential and Licensed Residential—in 2018, which was a 23 percent increase over the 1,172 first-time test takers who sat in 2017.

“The strong growth in individuals sitting for the appraisal exam for the first time is an extremely positive and welcome development,” said Appraiser Qualifications Board Chair Mark A. Lewis, whose board creates and oversees administration of the test.

The 2018 number is the highest since 2014 when 2,630 first-time test takers sat for the exam before more stringent qualification criteria took effect in 2015. This number was considered an inflated outlier because people were rushing to take the exam.

Equal in importance to the overall increase of first-time test takers was the spike among those who are 35 years old and younger taking the test for the first time. In 2018, 588 Millennials sat for one of the three exams, which was a more than 200 percent increase over 2017 when 194 Millennials sat for the exam.

“While the appraisal profession is often viewed as a second career choice, these numbers demonstrate that young people also view the profession as an early career choice,” said Vice President of Appraisal Services John Brenan. “New people entering any profession are its life blood, but it is especially heartening to know that the appraisal profession is reaching a new generation, which reflects extremely well on the continued growth of the profession.”

The results are only for those who have taken one of the three appraisal exams, and do not indicate whether the individuals became a professional appraiser. While individuals can take the test more than once, the first-time test takers are generally considered a better guide to newer entrants into the profession.

In Memory

Henry A. Long
Hoover, Alabama

ASFMRA was honored and pleased to welcome Henry A. Long into the membership in 1968. He joined as a Professional member. Henry obtained his AFM (Accredited Farm Manager) designation and went to the Accredited membership classification in 1972. He did not stop there. He obtained his ARA (Accredited Rural Appraiser) designation in 1976.

Henry went to the Retired membership classification in 2009. However, that did not last for too long. He came back to active Accredited membership in 2013. Henry retired his ARA designation in 2015, but kept his AFM active and remained a very active Accredited member. He transferred to the Associate membership in 2016. Henry was a very active member of ASFMRA at both the National and Chapter levels. Henry served as the ASFMRA President from 1988 to 1989. He was on the Awards Committee as a member from 1993 to 1996 and as the Chair in 1997. He was also on the Program Committee from 2005 to 2007.

Henry made many friends through his association with the Society and he always gladly helped out a friend. We will all miss Henry greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with Shannon and the Long family.

Read Henry's Obituary.