ASFMRA AgNews - July 24, 2019

By ASFMRA Press posted 07-23-2019 11:31


USMCA Advocacy

If you’re interested in contacting your representatives in the House of Representatives and Senate regarding the impact on agriculture of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), you may wish to use  this template endorsing its ratification.

No matter your position, you can find contact information for your House representative here, and for your state’s Senators here.

Selling Land to Reduce Debt? Consider an Opportunity Zone Fund

For years, farmers have used the tax strategy of Section 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges (also known as like-kind exchanges). It can be a great option to defer the gain on the sale of farmland. 

However, 1031 exchanges have a few key restrictions. “One is a farmer has to reinvest all of the net sales proceeds including any debt that is paid off,” says Paul Neiffer, a CPA and principal at CliftonLarsonAllen and author of the blog “The Farm CPA.” In today’s low-income farm environment, many farmers would like to sell land to pay down debt but also want to defer paying capital gains taxes.”

Read More About Opportunity Zones.

Prevent Plant to Exceed 8 Million Corn Acres, 3 Million Soybeans Acres

Given the wild spring and wacky weather, it’s no surprise to farmers that USDA expects prevent plant acre tallies to soar in 2019. While they won’t release final prevent plant numbers until later this fall, USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) has a running tally of prevent-plant acres.

According to Pro Farmer’s Jim Wiesemeyer, usually reliable sources detail prevented plant acres for corn as of early July were 7 million to 8 million acres, while soybeans were 2 million to 3 million acres.

“The total prevented plant tally for all crops [is] at 12.5 million acres,” he says. “Final amounts are expected to go higher, sources advise.”

What Will Final Amounts Come To?

Kansas City Fed Update: Ag Lending Variables; Farmland Values Relatively Steady

Nathan Kauffman and Ty Kreitman indicated in a recent update from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (“Large Loans Drive Further Increases in Farm Lending“) that, “Growth in the average size of farm operating loans boosted agricultural lending in the second quarter of 2019. The size of farm loans has continued to rise and loans exceeding $1 million recently have had a significant effect on the overall volume of new loan originations. The average duration of farm loans also has lengthened alongside elevated demand for financing, another potential signal of increased credit stress. Despite increased pressure from weaker farm finances and recent increases in interest rates on farm loans, farmland values continued to hold relatively steady.”

Will Values Remain Steady?

Money Begins to Flow on Second Year of Trump Bailout

Two months after President Trump announced a $16-billion package to buffer the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war on farmers and ranchers this year, the first driblet of the money is flowing — $100 million for market development. The awarding of the funds, announced by the USDA over the weekend, suggests the rest of the program could swing into operation in the days ahead.

The main component of the package is up to $14.5 billion in cash to producers of 28 commodities, from alfalfa and chickpeas to corn, soybeans, milk, and hogs. An additional $1.4 billion would be spent on foods affected by the trade war, including fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, lamb, and milk, with plans to donate those crops to food banks, schools, and outlets serving poor people.

What Will The Rest Of The Package Include?

Farmers Earn More From YouTube Than Their Crops

It’s a sign of the times when farmers make more money advocating for the industry on social media than actually farming.

Zach Johnson, who grows corn and soybeans in Minnesota, is known in YouTube circles as MN Millennial Farmer. It’s a role, he says, that’s provided him and his wife, Becky, about five times more in earnings than he can make on the family farm in the last year.

How Many Farmers Use YouTube?

Hemp Gaining Traction Among North Dakota Farmers

Hemp is gaining traction among farmers in North Dakota, and where state officials are seeing the most interest recently is in growing hemp for cannabidiol, or CBD.

CBD, which many believe has healing properties, is a substance derived from the hemp plant, a member of the cannabis genus. Unlike its cousin marijuana, hemp and its products cannot get you high.

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp nationwide and removed its status as a Schedule 1 or controlled drug. Now, hemp-derived CBD is cropping up seemingly everywhere: grocery stores, health food stores — even gas stations.

Will Hemp Continue To Gain Traction?

Wilbur-Ellis Sees Opportunity in Automated Machines

For the past couple of years, the in-field team at Wilbur-Ellis in California’s Salinas Valley has been hands-on in how automated thinners can benefit the area’s growers. Since March, the retailer has offered customers access to three machines as a new service.

“We have everything from helicopters to tractors in terms of equipment to help farmers steward the molecules we have and get applications done effectively,” says Blaine Wilson regional territory manager. “As advisers to the grower, we want to be able to offer everything from the recommendation to the application, and expanding to offer automated thinners is a natural part of that.”

Will Automation Continue?

Wheat Prices Have Potential to Rebound

In it's latest Crop Progress report, USDA says roughly 60% of the nation's wheat crop has been harvested. Kansas and Nebraska are both running well behind the five-year average. September wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade continuing to trend lower since late last month and is now below $5.

During an interview on AgDay with Clinton Griffiths, Dan Hueber of The Hueber Report said the July WASDE report helped set the stage for the wheat market.

"World ending stocks were dropped further than anybody anticipated," says Hueber. "You look around the globe, Europe is having a little bit of dry weather problem although probably not enough to really impact the crop."

Where are Wheat Prices Going?      

Welcome New Members

Help us welcome our newest members to ASFMRA! We are thrilled that you have chosen ASFMRA as the organization to be affiliated with. Because of you, ASFMRA continues to grow and support rural property professionals across the nation.

We are recognizing new members of the Society on a monthly basis. You may recognize your colleagues in the following list and we encourage you to welcome them into ASFMRA!

New Members

  • Sean Edler with AgIS Capital in Pasco, WA (California and Washington Chapters)
  • Ross Farris with Goldcrest Farm Trust in Nampa, ID (Idaho-Utah Chapter)
  • Ashley Patterson in Gansevoort, NY (Northeast Chapter)
  • Blake Phelps with Farm Credit East in Watertown, NY (Northeast Chapte)
  • Matthew Robertson with Huth Thompson LLP_ in Rensselaer, IN (Indiana Chapter)

Share Your Experience - Make a Referral

You know first-hand what a great organization ASFMRA is and what it means to you both professionally and personally. We thank you for spreading the word, you are the driving force behind our continued growth! Talk to those you know who would benefit from ASFMRA’s educational offerings, networking, and meetings. Let them know your experiences of being involved in this great association and some of the business contacts you have made along with lasting friendships. Your peers listed below have done just that! They spoke to individuals about ASFMRA and those individuals have now become members of ASFMRA!

  • Kimberlie DeWees, AFM, AAC
  • Jeffrey Hillberg, AFM
  • Rebecca Stone, ARA
Thank you to all who have referred someone and in some cases, more than one, to join ASFMRA.

Support The Education Foundation

The annual Education Foundation Auction is the main fundraiser for th rewrites of courses, etc. Funds raised at the annual Auction go directly to the Education Foundation. Help to make this year’s Education Foundation Auction even better! Make your tax deductible donation to the Auction now by simply completing the Auction Donation Form. Return the completed form directly to Hope Evans via email at:

Come join us on November 21, 2019 in Louisville, KY at the Omni Louisville Hotel for the Auction. Show your support and your Chapter’s support of the Education Foundation and make your donations now. Remember, no item is too small or too large. Unique items from your area are always wanted. Here are some of the items that we have received as of this time:

  • The Indiana Chapter has donated 2020 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Tickets. This is two (2) tickets for the 2020 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race weekend which includes two race day tickets located in the paddock grandstand, two tickets for admission to Miller Lite Carb Day, two tickets for Legends Day, two tickets for admission to the garage area immediately following completion of the race, and a three day auto parking permit. You do not want to miss your opportunity to bid on this amazing racing package.
  • Paul E. Moore, ARA, RPRA has donated a stay at his and Beth’s Vacation Home situated on the banks of beautiful Lake Cumberland. This is for an amazing vacation for a maximum of six days and five nights to Paul and Beth Moore’s vacation home which has three levels with a balcony on each level! There are four bedrooms, three full baths, full kitchen, living room, recreation room with pool table, outdoor hot tub, and much more. What more could you ask for when you take a vacation? You do not want to pass this opportunity up for bidding on this great trip!
  • The Missouri Chapter has donated a Stetson 30X Hat. Crafted in the original Gateway to the West from the Stetson factory in St. Joseph, MO. This 30X felt hat will set you off in style! You get to pick your size and color. Make sure you get your bid it on this early as you do not want to miss out on showing off what great taste you have!
  • Richard and Conni Edmunds have donated a Niagara Falls Trip! This is truly a must vacation trip that you really need to take at least once. You will not be disappointed. This is a weekend trip to tour local area, Niagara Falls, attractions, Amish stores, and so much more! Make sure to bid and bid often on this amazing trip!
  • Glaub Farm Management, LLC has donated an educational offering in memory of Henry A. Long, Jr. If you are interested in increasing your knowledge and/or professional skill set, make sure you get your bid in on this educational offering of your choice. This donation is made in memory of Henry A. Long, Jr. who was fundamental in the educational offerings of ASFMRA.
  • Peoples Company has donated two (2) registrations for the 2020 Land Investment Expo. You will want to make sure to get your bid in on this item and attend this premier ag-related event.
  • Paul and Nancy Reisch have donated a Crown Royal Quilt. This is a lap quilt that measures approximately 59” x 72”. The quilt is made from Crown Royal bag emblems. Nancy Reisch made the quilt. You will certainly want to be the high bidder on this and stay warm all year round!
Be part of this fun event and mark your calendar now – November 21, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. Plans are moving forward and we need you to make the Auction a success again this year! We need your donations. The Education Foundation Auction’s success depends on you – ASFMRA members, Chapters, sponsors, exhibitors, companies, and nonmember supporters.

Make your commitment for Auction items by October 22, 2019. Auction items should be shipped directly to the Omni Louisville Hotel to arrive no later than Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Please do not send your Auction items to arrive at the hotel more than three (3) days in advance – not to arrive before November 18, 2019 – due to the cost the hotel charges for storage.

If you have any questions concerning donations, contact Hope Evans directly at: 303.692.1216 or THANK YOU for your generous donations and continued support.

Support the Education Foundation

You, the members, Chapters, companies, and sponsors support the Education Foundation of ASFMRA which makes the development of new education, rewrites of course material to stay on the cutting edge, support the Leadership Institute, and much more possible.
You can make your tax-deductible contribution to the Education Foundation by one or a combination of the following:

  • Make a donation to the 2019 Education Foundation Auction – simply complete the Auction donation form at and return it to Hope Evans (
  • Include a donation along with your dues invoice in any amount that you would like.
  • Make a pledge at of a one-time gift, monthly gift, quarterly gift, annual gift, or consider an Endowment.
  • Encourage your Chapters to make a donation.
  • Make a donation in Memory of or in Honor of a deceased fellow member.
  • Make a donation at any time throughout the year.
These types of donations can be a great way to show your support of the Education Foundation that has been beneficial to so many. Any expression of support is greatly appreciated, and as you know, your contribution is tax-deductible. Thank you!