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ASFMRA Ag News - October 28, 2021

By ASFMRA Press posted 10-27-2021 09:23 PM


80,000 Acre Texas Panhandle Ranch on Sale for $80 Million

The Turkey Track Ranch in the Texas Panhandle is a land of river frontage, ponds, pasture, mesas and a historic marker advising that this is the site of Colonel Christopher “Kit” Carson’s last fight.

A Dallas-based ranch and land broker with a track record of selling high-end properties has bundled the natural resources, history and rich heritage of the 80,000-acre spread and put it on the market with a $200 million asking price.

Bernard Uechtritz, founder of Icon Global Group, said he came up with the price in much the same manner that he used to market the WT Waggoner Ranch for a record $725 million list price a few years ago. “I have not valued the Turkey Track in the conventional manner, which is on a per acre basis of comparable value sale,” Uechtritz said in an interview with the Dallas Business Journal. “I evaluated by its uniqueness and its scarcity and its one-of-a-kind values. Both the Waggoner and the Turkey Track are incomparable. There are no other ranches like them.”

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Report: Some Midwest Land Prices Are up 20% In Last Year

Farmland prices across the Midwest have soared 20% or more in some areas, and that will continue for at least the next year, and possibly two, according to Steve Bruere, president of Clive, Iowa-based Peoples Company.

Bruere’s comments are reflected in Peoples Company’s “National Land Values” report, available October 28.

According to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF), the annual average return for farmland in the Corn Belt (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri) averages 9.9% (including 4.198% income and 5.361% capital gain) from 1991 to 2021, a “remarkably steady track record with almost boring returns,” the report states. “On the other hand, Corn Belt returns offer far greater stability when compared with financial investments, including equities, where the annual drawdown has exceeded 20% at least once per decade.”

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Bitter Harvest: Klamath Basin Farmers Take Stock of Their Losses

After an unprecedented shut-off of irrigation water in the Klamath Project, agriculture producers had to scramble to find water for their crops. While many used groundwater wells to make up at least some of the loss, the limits of that resource became clear.

Tensions rose close to the boiling point early this summer amid a historic water shutoff in the Klamath Basin. Since then, irrigators in the Klamath Project have spent the growing season trying to make the most of a summer with no surface water from Upper Klamath Lake.

Jefferson Public Radio spoke with farmers leading up to the Klamath Water Users Association’s annual harvest tour last month. As the town of Merrill hosts the 84th annual Klamath Basin Potato Festival this weekend, JPR looked at the harvest for the Project’s driest year on record.

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FBN Finance Launches Financing Product, Farmland Capital

Owners of farmland can tap into that equity with a new product from Farmers Business Network (FBN).

Successful applicants to the company’s “Farmland Capital” instrument will receive cash, in return for a lease contract up to 10 years in length. FBN Finance invests in a slice of the farm’s equity as a passive minority partner, paying farmers cash today for a share of the farm’s future appreciation. Farmland Capital provides cash in exchange for “…a “bet on the future opportunity in farmland,” says Pepo Peschiera, managing director of equity investments at FBN.

There are no interest or rent payments to FBN Finance, giving farmers a path to full ownership of the land without the burden of debt. Moreover, the landowner continues to have full control over the farm, deciding what to grow and receiving all payments. Landowners can receive up to 25% of a farm’s value, but not more than 49% of the equity, Peschiera says.

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Larger Livestock Loans Indicate Uncertainty in Cattle Country

The Kansas City Federal Reserve says demand for livestock loans grew in the third quarter and that could signal uncertainty in cattle country.

Nathan Kauffman tells Brownfield the average size for loans reached an all-time high despite a lower number of loans issued. “The cattle industry has faced more pressure than some others in agriculture partly because of higher feed costs,” Kauffman says. “At least part of what we’re seeing, we think is attributed to increases costs and the increased need for financing among livestock producers.”

Kauffman says producers are having other financing concerns. “There are also other costs associated with land and machinery. We know of supply chain disruptions that are probably causing some pressure and increased prices that way as well.”

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ASFMRA Government Relations Update

Democrats Searching for Build Back Better Deal

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill insist they are getting closer to a deal on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), one of two key moderate Senate Democrats, told reporters last Thursday the talks were “making good progress.” But he also said he didn’t expect a deal “anytime soon.” Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated yesterday on CNN that the Democrats have “90% of the bill agreed to and written”.

Assuming a deal comes together, for agriculture, the key question is how much money will be in the final bill for climate related conservation provisions, agricultural research, and rural development. The House’s initial $3.5 trillion package, which can’t pass the Senate, had more than $90 billion for those provisions. Any additional funding provided by Build Back Better will significantly influence the next farm bill debate.

FSA Rejects Employee Association Request for Vaccination Exemption

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) rejected a request by the National Association of FSA County Office Employees (NASCOE), an association representing over 6,000 FSA employees for an exemption from the federal government’s vaccine mandate. NASCOE asked last month that county office employees be allowed to choose regular testing instead of vaccination, but FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said in a letter he fully supports President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring vaccines for federal employees.

House Agriculture Moves 5 Bipartisan Bills

The House Agriculture Committee reported 5 bills out of Committee last Thursday. The Committee passed legislation on a vote of 45 – 3 to provide additional funding for scholarships for students at 1890s institutions ($10 million annually starting in FY 2024). On voice votes, the Committee passed a bill to provide funding for the research and management of chronic wasting disease, a bill to help the Forest Service fund the clean-up of damaged forest lands, a bill to establish a library of contracts for the Agricultural Marketing Service to report terms of alternative marketing agreements between packers and producers, and a bill that directs the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out a grant program with eligible entities to carry out at least 10 pilot projects with the potential to reduce or sequester greenhouse emissions that convert tree nut harvest by-products into multiple higher value biocarbon products including sustainable industrial applications, agrochemicals, repurposing process heat, energy, and construction materials. Currently, there is no similar activity on these bills in the Senate.

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
Maggie Andrews with American A Credit in Montrose, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Joshua Behrens with Capital Farm Credit in San Antonio, TX (Texas Chapter)
Brian Biggs with Sunago Advisory Group, Inc. in La Grange, TX (Texas Chapter)
Steve Bruere with Peoples Company in Clive, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Brett R. Calhoun, AFM with Farmland Management Services in Yakima, WA (Washington Chapter)
Michelle Davidson with DOI/Office of the Secretary/AVSO in Ashland, WI (Wisconsin Chapter)
Daniel Doucet with Daniel Doucet Appraisal Services in Drayton, ONT (Ontario Chapter)
Bryan Gilliland in Bryan, TX (Texas Chapter)
James Fitzpatrick in Encinitas, CA (CA, ID-UT, WA Chapters)
Valerie Greene in Ashland, WI (Wisconsin Chapter)
Craig Johnson in Logan, UT (Idaho-Utah Chapter)
Molly Luhrs in College Station, TX (Texas Chapter)
Colton Moore in Ames, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Lauren Perkins in College Station, TX (Texas Chapter)
James Ridgway with Dept. of Interior (OST/OAS) in Billings, MT (Montana Chapter)
Nolan Sampson with Halderman Farm Management & Real Estate in Wabash, IN (Indiana Chapter)
Erin Seaman with US Dept of Interior in Denver, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Shelby Seaquist in College Station, TX (Texas Chapter)
Dean Schott with TopAg Services in Iowa City, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Kyle Vierra with Martin Hein Ranch Co in Hanford, CA (California 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!

Elisabeth Campbell, ARA
Charles Gilliland, Ph.D.
Howard Halderman, AFM
Danielle Harris, AFM
Ben Isaacson
Colton Lacina, AFM
Kevin McCarty
Clark Oman, ARA
James Redmond, AFM
Craig Turner, ARA
Wayne Young, ARA

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