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ASFMRA Ag News - June 8, 2021

By ASFMRA Press posted 06-07-2021 11:39 AM


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Cyberattack on Meat Giant Has Iowans Looking to Fortify Defenses

A ransomware attack on the world’s largest meatpacking company this week drew attention to the need for more cybersecurity in agriculture.

JBS plants across the United States, including two in Iowa, had moved toward reopening at full capacity late Wednesday after a cyberattack on servers. The White House said a Russian crime organization is likely to blame.

Pat McGonegle, CEO of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, said the JBS incident showed that an industry already consumed with guarding against biological attacks that could disrupt the food supply now needs to ramp up its work on preventing cybercrimes.

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Farmers in the Klamath Basin Threaten Another Water Standoff

Farmers in the Klamath Basin of Southern Oregon and Northern California say the water shortage and lack of water available to farmers has reached a “crisis” point and they are threatening to take matters into their own hands to ensure they get the water they say is due to them.

Like much of the West, the Klamath Basin is enduring a second year of drought that has left little water to go around for farmers and wildlife.

Farmers were only allocated 33,000 acre-feet of water this year by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the federal Klamath Project, according to Mark Johnson, deputy director of the Klamath Water Users Association, which represents 11 irrigation districts. In a typical year, a full allocation would be about 350,000 acre-feet, he said.

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Survey Shows Iowa Land Rents up Significantly in 2021

Most farmers in Iowa are seeing a significant increase in what they pay for land rents this year, according to a recent survey led by ASFMRA member Alejandro Plastina, associate professor in economics and extension economist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. 

According to the “Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2021 Survey,” which is conducted annually and available in the May Ag Decision Maker, rates have increased an average of 4.5%, an increase of about $10 per acre, for a total per-acre rent of $232.

Land considered to be “high quality” saw an average of a 3.9% increase, up from $257 per acre in 2020 to $267 in 2021. “Medium quality” land saw a 4.5 percent increase, from $223 per acre in 2020 to $233 in 2021, and “low quality” land is up 4.8%, from $188 per acre in 2020 to $197 in 2021.

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Highest Food Prices Since 2011 May Persist for Months

After rising for 12 months in a row during the pandemic, international food prices are the highest they’ve been since September 2011, said the monthly Food Price Index, released on Thursday. The index, maintained by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, surged 4.8% in May, its largest monthly increase in nearly 11 years.

Vegetable oil, grain, and sugar prices were sharply higher due to the resurgent global economy and concerns that harvests could run later than usual or this year’s crops could be smaller than expected. Dairy and meat prices, the other two components of the index, were firm.

“The current high-price food environment appears to be mostly driven by fundamentals and will probably persist to some degree owing to the tight carryout situation projected through 2021/22,” said FAO analysts in the companion AMIS report. “The coming months will be critical for how food markets evolve. Global grain and soybean inventories could prove barely sufficient in case of a major production shortfall, while a speedier recovery in global economic activity could spur demand for these crops at a much faster rate than currently anticipated.”

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Loudoun County Landowner Buys Greg Norman’s Massive Colorado Ranch

One of Loudoun County, Virginia’s largest individual landowners has acquired a nearly 12,000-acre ranch in Colorado from golf legend Greg Norman.

Chuck Kuhn, through his family-owned JK Land Holdings, paid an undisclosed sum for Norman’s Seven Lakes Ranch, in the White River Valley near Meeker, Colorado. The property was originally listed by Hall and Hall for $40 million. The ranch will be placed in conservation easement, and Kuhn will subsequently sell the majority of the property to neighboring Elk Creek Ranch, a private sporting community. The Kuhn family are members of that community.

The deal will double Elk Creek Ranch to 25,000 acres, significantly expanding its fly-fishing and hunting ranch, including a total of 25 miles of private water on White River. Kuhn will keep the 14,000-square-foot Seven Lakes Lodge and surrounding acreage.

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ASFMRA Government Relations Update

Biden Administration FY 2022 Budget Request

The much-delayed FY 2022 budget request to Congress from the Biden Administration was released the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend This will start the Congressional appropriations and budget process for FY 2022. In the aggregate the Biden Administration budget would spend $6 trillion during the 2022 fiscal year, rising to $8.2 trillion by FY 2031. It estimates a budget deficit of $1.8 trillion in FY 2022, falling to $1.6 trillion by 2031 (assuming various tax increases are enacted). The U.S. debt relative to the size of the economy would rise to its highest level in history, reaching 117% of GDP in 2031.

The good news is the budget request includes no proposals to cut crop insurance or farm programs. This is the first time in over 15 years that a President’s budget request does not include some proposal to cut crop insurance or farm policy.

HUD Secretary Fudge to Lead Interagency Initiative to Address Inequity in Home Appraisals

Last week President Biden announced that Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge will lead an interagency initiative to address inequity in home appraisals. This initiative will include carrying out potential enforcement under fair housing laws, regulatory action, and the development of standards and guidance in partnership with industry and state and local governments. The Appraisal Foundation is in the process of reaching out to the Administration to offer assistance for its initiative. As a sponsoring organization of TAF, ASFMRA will participate in a letter offering assistance.

$200 Billion for USDA Climate Work

Thirty House and Senate Democrats sent a letter to congressional leaders requesting “a substantial investment in farmers, ranchers, and rural communities as part of the climate solution.” Their letter to congressional leaders, who are working on broad-scale climate and infrastructure legislation, followed a request earlier last week from more than 450 conservation, consumer, farm, and environmental groups for $200 billion in new funding for ag climate mitigation. Recall from last week’s Weekly, Senator Stabenow (D-MI), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is seeking $50 billion for this purpose in the infrastructure bill. Democrats and Republicans have yet to reach an agreement on the infrastructure bill.

RMA Announces Premium Benefit for Cover Crops

Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from the USDA if they planted cover crops during this crop year. The premium support is $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium owed. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), offered by RMA, helps farmers maintain their cover crop systems, despite the financial challenges posed by the pandemic. To receive the benefit for this program, producers must file a FSA-578 for cover crops with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) by June 15, 2021, which is distinct from the normal acreage reporting date. The normal acreage reporting deadline with FSA has not changed, but to receive the premium benefit, producers must file by June 15. Link to FAQs related to PCCP.


We are recognizing long-standing members of the ASFMRA on an annual basis according to their join date. The anniversaries are recognized in increments of five years. You may recognize your fellow peers in the list of Long Standing Members and we encourage you to extend your congratulations to them. Please note this list is for the 2021 year.

A round of applause is extended by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA or the Society) to our long-standing members for their continuous support. The Society appreciates every member for choosing us as the association you desire to affiliate with especially with many organizations vying for your membership. The ASFMRA continues to make every effort to offer member services which will benefit your professional and personal life.

Member's Name City State Join Date # of Years
Sam D. McAnally, ARA-Retired Brady TX 11/28/1961 60
Howard R. Walker, AFM-Retired Metamora IL 8/1/1961 60
Fredrick H. Wegener, ARA Brookfield WI 8/1/1961 60
Glen E. Carlson, ARA-Retired Freeport IL 8/1/1961 60
David E. Peterson, AFM, ARA-Retired Lakewood CO 6/28/1966 55
Rodger K. Tinjum, ARA Detroit Lakes MN 11/29/1966 55
Ray L. Brownfield, AFM Oswego IL 6/28/1966 55
Con A. Englehorn, ARA-Retired Scottsdale AZ 6/28/1966 55
Richard A. Stephens, ARA Little Rock AR 11/28/1971 50
Larry D. Trede, Ph.D. Ames IA 8/12/1971 50
Loyd A. Brown, AFM, ARA-Retired Nevada IA 10/2/1971 50

View More Longstanding Members Here!

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