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ASFMRA Ag News - March 1, 2022

By ASFMRA Press posted 03-01-2022 12:39 AM


Markets React to Russian Invasion of Ukraine

“Volatility” was the theme of markets Thursday following Russia’s overnight invasion of Ukraine. Already labeled an “unnecessary war” by politicians worldwide, Russia’s military movement has led to human fatalities and mounting uncertainties in the global economy.

Markets reacted in both directions, with input costs — namely, fertilizers — making major moves to the high side. According to Josh Linville, director of fertilizer for StoneX Financial, Russia and Belarus account for 19% and 15% respectively of global potash production. Linville said urea physical trading in New Orleans (NOLA) reached $160 per ton higher than physical trade Wednesday, representing a 32% increase.

"The biggest surprise is the size of the price move," Linville wrote to Michigan Farm News. "I expected to see bullishness on the fertilizer values globally given Russia's importance on the world export market. I did not expect to see Egypt urea paper prices up $250 from yesterday settlement, Arab Gulf urea paper prices up $200 from yesterday settlement, etc."

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Iowa Lawmakers Advance a Bill Restricting Solar Built on Farmland

Iowa lawmakers advanced a bill out of the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday that would place restrictions on where solar panel fields can be installed.

Under the bill, solar panel fields could only be installed on less productive farmland. They also must be at least half a mile from other solar panel fields and not less than 1,250 feet from the nearest neighboring landowner.

The bill references Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Corn Suitability Rating 2 index, which rates soils by how productive they are. Under the proposal, people can’t install a solar panel field on agricultural land unless the land they want to install it on has a corn suitability rating of 65 or lower. These soils would have less of a corn yield than soils with a rating higher than 65.

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Report: Drought Drained $1.2 Billion From California Ag in 2021

Drought cost California’s agricultural sector $1.2 billion and 8,750 full- and part-time jobs last year, according to a new report prepared for the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture. It is the latest evidence that climate change is upending the country’s most productive agricultural region.

“This has been a fast-paced drought, and it shows how climate change increases the challenges we face in managing water in California,” said Alvar Escriva-Bou, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and a co-author of the report. “Sadly, we are going to see more and more droughts like this, so we need better tools to anticipate and minimize the socio-economic impacts.”

The report was produced by a team of researchers at UC Merced in collaboration with experts from UC Davis and the PPIC. They released their findings only days after many California farmers discovered they would not be getting a reprieve from drought conditions this year, either; on Feb. 23, the federal government announced that it will not release any water to Central Valley farmers in 2022. Two thirds of California is engulfed in “severe drought,” and the state just weathered its driest February on record.

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What Lies Ahead for Farmland Market in 2022?

Before you determine where farmland values might go, determine where they’ve been. Then you can get a better handle on what to expect both short term and longer term.

Todd Kuethe, a Purdue University Extension ag economist, invited two of Indiana’s leading industry players in the farmland real estate market to help verify current trends and share thoughts about the future during the recent Purdue Top Farmer Conference.

R.D. Schrader, head of Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co. in Columbia City, Ind., and Howard Halderman, AFM, president of Halderman Farm Management and Real Estate Services in Wabash, Ind., shared their observations.

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With Fertilizer Costs High and Seeds Scarce, U.S. Farmers Turn To Soy

North Dakota farmer Jennifer Meyer typically devotes at least 20% of her 2,500-acre farm to corn, which provides a convenient feed for the cattle she raises with her husband.

But this year she is looking to find another crop for those 500 acres near Wilton as she has been unable to find the fertilizer needed to grow the yellow grain. So instead of planting corn, Meyer is leaning toward soybeans, as she has been found the pesticide needed to get that crop through the growing season.

"That's one of the biggest things," Meyer said. "Finding something that you can use to kill all the weeds."

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ASFMRA Government Relations Update

Appraisal Subcommittee Commissioned Report Questions Appraisal Standards, Legal Authority

In a wide reaching report commissioned by the Appraisal Subcommittee, the authors of Identifying Bias and Barriers, Promoting Equity: An Analysis of USPAP Standards and Appraiser Qualifications Criteria urge federal and state governmental entities, The Appraisal Foundation, the GSEs, lenders, appraisers, researchers, and civil rights and consumer advocates to work together to address concerns raised by the report with regard to:

  • Questions About the Governance of the Appraisal Industry
  • Gaps in Fair Housing Requirements and Training
  • Barriers to Entry to the Appraisal Profession
  • Compliance and Enforcement

The questions and recommendations in the report have been shared with the Biden Administration Interagency Taskforce on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) which is expected to release its report later this Spring. Clearly, the appraisal profession and its regulatory framework will be under significant review this year.

Senate Extends Continuing Resolution

Both the Senate and House are in recess this week. Last week the Senate followed the House’s lead and extended the current continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open until March 11, 2022. It is widely expected that Appropriators will write an omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2022 by the new deadline. The Congress will be over 6 months delayed in completing its FY 2022 appropriations work. Meanwhile the FY 2023 budget and appropriation’s process is already delayed. Usually, the President’s budget is released in February. This year President Biden will present his State of the Union address on March 1st with the Administration’s budget request to follow later in March.

USDA Projects Smaller Corn Crop, More Beans

USDA projects corn plantings down by 1.5 percent and modestly increased soybean acreage this year because of high input costs. USDA released its annual crop projections during its Annual Outlook Conference last week.

USDA forecast corn plantings at 92 million acres, down by 1.4 million acres from 2020, and soybean plantings at 88 million acres, an increase of 800,000 acres. With a return to trend yields, the corn crop, at 181 bushels an acre, would be a record 15.24 billion bushels. The soybean crop, with yields of 51.5 bushels an acre, would be a record 4.49 billion bushels.

Wheat production is projected at 1.94 billion bushels, up 18 percent from last year but still below the five-year average. The projection was made before Russia declared was on the Ukraine. The USDA projected all wheat plantings at 48 million acres, up from 46.7 million acres last year. The USDA estimates cotton production would rise by 2 percent this year, to 18.2 million bales.

USDA Extends Hog Program Pandemic Sign-up

Hog producers who sold hogs through a spot market sale during the COVID-19 pandemic now have until April 15, 2022, to submit their applications for the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP). SMHPP, which is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, originally had a deadline to submit applications to the Farm Service Agency by Feb. 25, 2022.

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
Andrew Bertuccio with Yosemite Farm Credit in Merced, CA (California Chapter)
Shelby Britton in Bloomfield, IN (Indiana Chapter)
Mason Buckendahl in Lincoln, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Carter Canham in Brookings, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Lexi Ann Clark with First South Farm Credit in Albertville, AL (Alabama Chapter)
Andrew Cohn in Arlington, TN (Mid-South Chapter)
Cameron Cook with GreenStone Farm Credit in Pewamo, MI (Michigan Chapter)
Travis Cousins in Northport, AL (Alabama Chapter)
Kalley Czech with Compeer Financial in Waite Park, MN (Minnesota Chapter)
Angelica Danna with Northwest Federal Credit Services in Chehalis, WA (Washington Chapter)
Paige Gaffney with Compeer Financial in Sun Prairie, WI (Wisconsin Chapter)
Michael Gammon with Farm Credit Mid America in Harrodsburg, KY (Kentucky Chapter)
Brian Griffin in Underwood, IN (Indiana Chapter)
Ashlyn Gummersheimer in Columbia, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Miranda Hillskemper in Chico, CA (California Chapter)
Wendy Jensen in Higginsville, MO (Missouri Chapter)
Douglas Johnson with Compass Land Consultants, Inc. in Minocqua, Wisconsin (MI, MN, & WI Chapters)
Brit Lockaby with Capiral Farm Credit in Lubbock, TX (Texas Chapter)
Emma Loseke with Farm Credit Services of America in Waverly, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Jacob Mamer with Ken Brush Appraisals in Caldwell, ID (Idaho-Utah Chapter)
Alexis Massanet with Farm Credit Services of America in Omaha, NE (KS & NE Chapters)
Blythe McAfee in Lincoln, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Cole Nickerson with Farmers National Company in Cambridge, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Abigail Oelrichs with FCS Financial in Higginsville, MO (Missouri Chapter)
Jerod Olson with Midwestland Management & Realty in Spencer, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Brian O’Neill with National Right of Way Review Appraisal in Boise, ID (Idaho-Utah Chapter)
Phillip Rich with First Mid Ag Services in Bloomington, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Leah Ruen with Farm Credit Services of America in Mason City, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Sterling Sammons with Sammons McAnally Co in Brady, TX (Texas Chapter)
Jackson Schumacher with Pathfinder Co in Fremont, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Aaron Shinn with Shinn Appraisals, LLC in Seneca, KS (Kansas Chapter)
Payton Stevenson with PBT-Farm Management in McPherson, KS (Kansas Chapter)
Grant Stockbridge with Capital Farm Credit in Lubbock, TX (Texas Chapter)
Aaron Tunnell with Valbridge Property Advisors in San Antonio, TX (Texas Chapter)
Kyler Varin with Golden State Farm Credit in Kingsburg, CA (California Chapter)
Benjamin Wilson with Farm Credit Mid-America in Louisville, KY (Kentucky 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!

George Baird, IV, AFM
Richard Bell, ARA
Ken Brush, ARA
Luke Erickson
Blake Florell, AFM
Brian Gatzke, ARA
Calvin Hettwer
Kathleen Kincaid
Roger Koertner, ARA
Andrew Kroeker
Randall Kyles, ARA
Alexis Massanet
John Massanet
Kent Murphy
Mickey Nixon, ARA
Daniel Patten, AFM
Greg Peters
Kent Reid
John Robertson, Jr., ARA
Clifford Rossler, ARA
Tom Sammons, II
Adam Schmidt, ARA
Dan Schummer
Ray Shinn
Jason Wagner
Michael Wheeler

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