ASFMRA AgNews - March 31, 2020

By ASFMRA Press posted 03-31-2020 07:24


Are Appraisals an Essential Service?

With the number of states, counties and cities issuing stay-at-home orders increasing every day, the real estate industry is left to quickly interpret whether its functions are considered essential services.

With many moving parts and jobs in the real estate process, appraisers, notaries and homebuilders, along with many other roles, are having to individually interpret their local restrictions to see how they can continue operating. 

Read the Full Story.

COVID-19 Puts Ag Financial Concerns Under a Microscope

The gloom and doom of the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to keep uncertainty in the agricultural finance sector at a high level.

Nick Paulson, Ph.D, University of Illinois farmdoc expert and recipient of the ASFMRA Gold Quill Award for his work in the 2019 Journal of the ASFMRA says that the COVID-19 coronavirus is compounding problems in the already tough ag economy.

With the U.S. jobless claims jumping to 3.283 million, from last week's U.S. data, that kind of economic activity is not helping sentiment.

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COVID-19 Spurs Spike In Meat & Poultry Production

U.S. meat and poultry production increased an estimated 10% during the week ending March 28, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). Over the past four weeks, combined production of beef, pork, chicken and turkey was up 8.5% compared to the previous year.

LMIC says that strong retail demand, and the resulting spike in processing margins, has incentivized processors and packers to ramp up production the last two weeks.

Read the Full Story.

Coronavirus and Appraisers: Your Questions Answered

In response to the growing concerns about COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, The Appraisal Foundation is providing this assistance to help Appraisers respond to the coronavirus's potential impact on the profession.

Read the Full Article.

Coronavirus Emergency Response Bill #3  

Congress passed and President Trump signed into law a $2.2 trillion-dollar emergency response bill to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The bill is the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history. The USDA portion of the bill includes $15.5 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, replenishment of $14 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation’s (CCC) borrowing authority, an emergency appropriation of $9.5 billion to the Office of the Secretary to provide aid to producers of specialty crops, producers who supply local food systems including famers markets, restaurants and schools, and livestock including dairy, and an additional $8.8 billion for child nutrition. The CCC replenishment could set up another round of MFP type payments.

It is highly likely Congress will take up a fourth emergency package but timing of that is unclear.

You can read a section-by-section summary of the bill here: Section by Section

The AP has produced a shorter summary of the bill.

ASFMRA Joins Appraiser Organizations Requesting Appraisers Classified as Essential Services

Last week, ASFMRA joined ASA, AI, MBREA and NAR in a letter requesting that State and local “stay at home” orders include appraisers and the appraisal profession as essential business services in order for the appraisal profession to continue to service its clients through stay at home orders. Last Saturday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated their “Advisory Memorandum on Identification of Critical Infrastructure Workers During Covid-19 Response” to recognize “Residential and commercial real estate services, including settlement services” as being part of the “Essential Critical Infrastructure” workforce.  Some States refer to the Federal Guidance directly in their orders. You can find State orders here. Scroll past the Johns Hopkins University map for the summary tables and information regarding State orders.

Rural Housing Agency Issues Exceptions to Interior Inspection Appraisal

USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Bette Brand announced Friday that USDA is granting lenders temporary exceptions pertaining to appraisals, repair inspections and income verification for the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective immediately, the exceptions to Agency guidance found at HB-1-3555 are in effect for a period of 60-days. 

Other Appraisal Changes

Various changes to appraisal guidelines are being announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are links to several announcements. 

Fannie and Freddie Mac

Veterans Benefits Administration 

RMA Releases Three Managers Bulletins in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic  

Last Friday afternoon the Risk Management Agency released three Managers Bulletins MGR-20-005, MGR-20-006 and MGR-20-007. The Bulletins provide additional time for insureds and approved companies to submit written agreements, complete production reporting, and make payment of premium and administrative fees for some policies. Please refer to the respective Managers Bulletins for more information. The extensions are being provided as many States and localities have issued “stay-at-home” orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Yesterday, President Trump extended the Federal guidelines for social distancing through the end of April. Those guidelines were set to expire today. Many States are using the Federal guidelines to respond to the virus through public health emergency declarations and social distancing orders.

USDA Announces 3.4 million Acre CRP Offers

Last week the Department of Agriculture announced it will accept 3.4 million acres into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) through its most recent general sign-up. While the deadline for general CRP signup was February 28, 2020, signups for continuous CRP, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, CRP Grasslands and the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) are ongoing. The CRP Grasslands deadline is May 15, and the SHIPP signup begins March 30, 2020, and ends August 21, 2020. Farm Service Agency offices are closed for in-person meetings but open by telephone appointment.

Useful Coronavirus links

I’m sure many of you are trying to stay up to date with the latest news regarding Federal guidance and State and local orders related to the coronavirus pandemic. I have found the following links to be useful to stay up to date.

Federal Website with general information regarding the Coronavirus 

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus tracking website (World, U.S., State and County tracking) 

National Governors Association State Action Tracking website (scroll down past Johns Hopkins University map for tracking information 

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

Cody Adrian with Fairland Management in Windom, MN (Minnesota Chapter)
Levi Dakota Armbruster with Stribling – Probandt Appraisals in San Angelo, TX (Texas Chapter)
Mark Bushnell with Volkert in Collinsville, IL (Illinois and Missouri Chapters)
Mikayla Gates Carbaugh with AgChoice Farm Credit in Martinsburg, PA (Northeast Chapter)
Andrew Cottrell in Carlock, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Amelia Hansen in Walterville, OR (Oregon Chapter)
Alex Hartke in Tautopolis, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Taylor Hartley with AgGeorgia Farm Credit in Sandersville, GA (Georgia Chapter)
Thomas Hill with First Mid Ag Services in Springfield, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Colt Kokel with MetLife Agricultural Investments in Aledo, TX (Texas Chapter)
Josh Lagerquist in Williston, VT (Northeast Chapter)
Madison Leigh in Ten Sleep, WY (Wyoming Chapter)
Lauren Peacock in Winchester, IN (Indiana Chapter)
Hilary Sawmiller with GreenStone Farm Credit Services in Lake City, MI (Michigan Chapter)
Olivia Schlarmann in Worthington, IA (Iowa 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!

Carmen Bierschwale
Timothy Dean, ARA
Robert Hostetter
Larry Kokel, ARA
Amy Pendley
Victor Probandt, ARA
Rick Six
Keith Waterman, AFM

Thank you to all who have referred someone and in some cases, more than one, to join ASFMRA.