Ag News

ASFMRA AgNews - May 29, 2019

By ASFMRA Press posted 05-29-2019 08:56


Experts: SGMA Begins to Affect Land Values

By now one would suspect that the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is “old news,” something that is firmly ensconced in the minds of farmers and real estate investors as the first of several deadlines loom.

Nevertheless, I understand from rural appraisers attending the recent Outlook Conference – the annual meeting of the California chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers – that SGMA was apparently not on the minds of everyone considering a farm real estate transaction last year.

Each year the California chapter publishes its Trends Report, a synopsis of farm real estate values in California and Nevada. The figures are based on actual sales and value trends that are likely conversation starters among ag lenders, investors and the white pickup brigade at the local diner.

Looming Deadlines Caught Some Land Buyers by Surprise.

Hemp Growth Legalization Bill Clears Key Hurdle, but With a 'Tremendous Amount' of Regulations

A proposal to legalize the growth of hemp in Louisiana cleared a key hurdle Tuesday, but not before lawmakers added a long list of regulations and conditions to the industry and the sale of popular CBD products that are already widely available.

State Sen. Francis Thompson, a self-described skeptic of hemp and CBD products and chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, tacked an extensive list of amendments onto the bill before the committee cleared the legislation on a 5-2 vote.

The measure involves a “tremendous amount” of regulations, said Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, a supporter of the effort. State Rep. Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, is carrying House Bill 491 and says he thinks it will be another tool for the state’s farmers.

Measure Moves to Full Senate Next.

Special report: A talk with Secretary of Agriculture Perdue

Max Armstrong talks with the Secretary of Agriculture about trade, farm issues and other key topics recently. Max and the Secretary talk regularly, and in this latest conversation there’s insight on talks for the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement and the opening of the Japanese Market for Beef.

Max Armstrong produces two regular shows for Farm Progress: Farm Progress America and Midwest Digest, which you can find on the Max Armstrong page.

Listen to Their Discussion.

Trump Readies New Round of Aid to Farmers Hit by China Trade War

The Trump administration is preparing to announce another round of aid to farmers hurt by the trade war with China as soon as Thursday, people familiar with the plan said, a package of assistance that could exceed $15 billion.

The aid plan is largely modeled on the program the administration put in place last year after China slapped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, though the payments will be more generous.

The administration is considering payments of about $2 per bushel to soybean growers, 63 cents per bushel to wheat growers and 4 cents per bushel to corn growers to compensate for losses from the trade war, according to two people familiar with the payment levels, who asked not to be identified because the aid plan hasn’t been made public.

When will Aid Come?

Hope Dominates Commodity Markets

We all seem to be hoping: First, through fiscal, monetary and trade policy that U.S. and global economic momentum may be maintained (likely achievable); Second, contentious global trade policy disputes will be resolved (likely not achievable); Third, that global rice, grain and cotton supply and demand fundamentals will become more favorable for stronger prices (U.S. continuous planting season rainfall has all considering adjustments to their rice and grain balance sheets), but still to be seen if technology and efficiency can override Mother Nature’s planting season weather obstacles.

Global Market Rebalancing. This is a year of global market rebalancing. Why? So global economic momentum may be extended for several more years into the future and avoid a dangerously crippling global economic downturn. Global equity markets in general have had a huge surge since their December 2018 low, so what should one expect now from the global equity markets? Probably a similar period of consolidation or correction. Granted, U.S. equities possibly could benefit from overall potential global weakness, since global investment alternatives are lacking.

What to Hope For?

Wettest Year on Record Across the Farm Belt, More Rain on the Way

Experts say it is now officially the wettest year on record across the Farm Belt, and that is leading to delays in the movement of fertilizer and other agriculture materials.

Mississippi River barge traffic was blocked for a time, pushing at least one fertilizer supplier to use costlier rail transport to deliver products. We're told a large backlog is now waiting and rains could shut the river again, and now there is a new flooding concern, this time along the Arkansas River in Little Rock. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the river is expected to exceed the level set in the May 1990 flood.

The Corps says the water is not coming from the sky, but from upstream in Oklahoma and Kansas where there were heavy rains and from snowmelt coming out of Colorado. The Corps says the Tulsa, Oklahoma district is having to release water out of its flood control structure because it is full. They say the structure has been holding back water for weeks.

Is More Rain Coming?

Will Disaster Aid Relief Come A Little Too Late for Southern Growers?

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill first said a $17 million disaster aid bill could be agreed upon by the end of the work week. That would be a bill which could provide aid to help with natural disasters in Puerto Rico, the Midwest and the Southeast.

However, Southeastern growers have been waiting on disaster aid for two years, with promises to receive aid after Hurricanes Irma and Michael. For growers in the Southeast, the potential aid couldn’t come soon enough.

Will Relief Come Soon Enough?

2019 Summary of Actions: Detailed Version Related to USPAP Changes

On April 5, 2019, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) adopted modifications to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

This action began in earnest with the issuance of a Discussion Draft in January 2018, followed by four exposure drafts with specific proposed revisions to USPAP.

Written comments were received in response to each document, and oral comments were provided at each of four public meetings. Each member of the ASB read and carefully considered every comment.

Based on the feedback received, the Board adopted revisions for the 2020-21 edition of USPAP. Additional administrative edits will be made to other Advisory Opinions and FAQs for consistency with the adopted changes.

You can also access the “Summary” of these detailed changes here. 

The Appraisal Foundation Launches Veterans' Resource Page

The Appraisal Foundation, the nation's foremost authority on the valuation profession, launched today a Veterans' Resource page for veterans who are considering a career in appraising to learn more about the profession.

“As we remember those who have sacrificed to serve our nation, The Appraisal Foundation believes veterans deserve more than a thank you," said The Appraisal Foundation President David Bunton. "They want to learn about the possibilities open to them for their next career step. We believe that the skills learned in military service are applicable to a career in appraising. Now veterans don't have to search the entire web to learn more about a career in appraising. The Appraisal Foundation's Veterans' Resource page serves as a single source of information."

The Veterans' Resource page includes a welcome video narrated by Brad Swinney, an Army veteran and member of the Appraiser Qualifications Board, an independent board of The Appraisal Foundation. As Brad explains in the video about why veterans would be attracted to a career in appraising, "We firmly believe that warriers who protected the greatest nation make for proud guardians of the public trust through valuation, which helps protect the greatest economy in the world."

It also provides veterans with a quiz to help them gauge their aptitude for a career in appraising. Once they have a score, the page offers different resources that match their aptitude and interest.

For the first time, The Appraisal Foundation has gathered a group of appraisers who are veterans to serve as a sounding board for veterans who want to learn more about the appraisal profession.

The resources on the page include links to state real estate appraisal boards, state veterans offices, and state and local veterans organizations.