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ASFMRA Ag News - April 26, 2022

By ASFMRA Press posted 04-25-2022 04:52 PM


Who Will Drive Future Farmland Purchases

We’ve all heard the saying, “The cure for high prices is high prices.” This has been the case in commodity markets where farmers have historically responded to supply and demand cycles by producing more grain when called on to do so. However, this may be more difficult to apply to land prices since we cannot produce more land.

Six months ago I asked in the article "Is the Hot Farmland Market Sustainable," which will run out first: acres, or buyers? There is no question the hot farmland market continues. Land buyers still seek more acres, even after a record amount of land was offered for sale late last year. Recent farms have sold across the Midwest with sales ranging from $15,000 to $20,000 per acre. One Iowa farm fetched a price of $21,000 per acre just last week.

Every farm publication seems to include an article about record-high land values. The Iowa Realtors Land Institute recently released its spring survey which reports Iowa farmland prices have increased 32.9% over the past year. The real estate agents who responded to this survey credit high commodity prices and yields to continued strong land prices. They project the market will continue with higher prices due to lack of supply. It seems undisputed that all farm professionals believe this bull market will continue and no one is predicting a drop in prices.

Read the Full Story from Mike Downey, AFM, AAC

Benefactors Aid Children’s Hospital With Land Donations; Recreationists Could Also Benefit

Despite his humble beginnings, in 1937 Louis Shodair generously gifted $200,000 to the community of Helena to build its first and only hospital devoted specifically to children. In today’s dollars, that would be around $3.9 million. Of that total, only $40,000 was cash. The rest was a real-estate donation, which included a block on West Park Street in uptown Butte that carried his name. With his aid, Shodair Children’s Hospital was created.

Fast forward to 2019 when Forrest Allen gifted Shodair Children’s Hospital his family’s early 1900s homestead in the foothills of the Big Snowy Mountains northeast of Ryegate – 5,677 acres of native grasslands and forest.

The hospital always knew it would sell the property, rather than become a landlord and oversee its leasing to neighboring ranchers, Shodair’s CEO, Craig Aasved, said. Consequently, it was agreed early on by the hospital’s board that the property should go into public hands “because of who Shodair is,” he said.

Read the Full Story

Landowners Fear a ‘Scar’ on Landscape From Project to Bring Green Energy Across the Midwest

Loren Sprouse drove through his hometown of Braymer, Missouri, and noted the height of each structure he passed. The water tower loomed 100 feet high. The grain elevator was a little taller. All were shorter than the proposed 130- to 160-foot electrical transmission towers that would cut through his property as part of the 800-mile Grain Belt Express transmission line. The project, which has been in the works for over 10 years, would sit on only 18 acres of Sprouse’s farm. But he would be able to see it for miles.

“No one who owns land can’t feel a special place for that land … That’s why you want to maintain it,” Sprouse said. “This line is not going to do that. It’s going to create a big, obvious scar completely across the state. And it’ll be the single biggest, ugliest thing in northern Missouri and with it set a precedent for more to be built just like it.”

Scar or not, the line promises to connect three of the country’s regional electrical grids — Southwest Power Pool (SPP), Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and PJM Interconnection — and would bring wind energy harnessed in southwest Kansas to other parts of the country.

Read the Full Story

Farmland Market Stays Strong Into Planting Season

Spring is here — and the farmland market continues its recent strong tear. Sales ranging from $15,000 per acre to more than $20,000 per acre have been seen in many, if not most, areas across the state. Incredible! Heading into what is typically the slowest part of the land sales season, landowners’ and farmers’ focus shifts to getting a crop planted. With corn and soybean prices both at lofty levels rarely seen, it will continue to be interesting to watch moves in the land market into the summer months, especially with developments elsewhere.

Case in point of those developments elsewhere: The Federal Reserve moved forward in late March with an interest rate increase of 25 basis points, or one-quarter percentage point. This may not seem significant, especially considering the low-low levels of current interest rates. However, the Fed’s messaging of several additional rate bumps to come in future months — some of which may be 50 basis points at a time — offers a preview to the end of the ultra-low-rate environment that we’ve enjoyed for some time now.

Read the Full Story

Drought Conditions Intensify in Kansas, Most of the Corn Belt Sees Little Change

Nearly three-quarters of Kansas is reporting dry conditions, a level the state has not dropped below since the beginning of the year. Some 74% of the state reports it is abnormally dry while a little over 2% is experiencing exceptional drought.

Situated in Lyon County, Leffler Farms, Inc. is fortunate to be one of the few not currently affected by drought conditions. Yet, Jacquelyne Leffler, who works alongside her dad, Bill, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, and cattle, says that wasn’t the case just a few months ago.

Coming out of winter, Leffler says their area was very dry, to the point where they weren’t sure it was safe to burn pasture, a common practice in the Flint Hills of Kansas to rid fields of weeds and dead plants and encourage new growth without using chemicals. Burning season begins in early March, and Leffler says many farmers, themselves included, went ahead with the burn.

Read the Full Story

ASFMRA Government Relations Update

USDA Announces $800 Million Infrastructure Investments

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department of Agriculture is investing nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure (PDF, 587 KB) in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. The funding encompasses 165 projects to expand access to safe water and/or clean energy for people living in disadvantaged communities.

Livestock Hearings, Farm Bill Review Continues

The House and Senate return to Washington D.C. this week after a two-week recess period. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will hold hearings regarding cattle and meat markets this week. The Senate Agriculture Committee will review two bills Tuesday: The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022 as well as the Meat and Poultry Special Investigators Act of 2022. Senator Grassley is the champion of the cattle price discovery bill and claims he has the votes at the Committee level as well as the Senate floor to pass it.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will start its review of the 2018 Farm Bill with a field hearing in Michigan, Senator Stabenow’s home state, on Friday, April 29.

Meanwhile the House Agriculture Committee will continue its examination of the 2018 Farm Bill with a hearing to review the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on Tuesday followed by a hearing on Wednesday where the Committee will hear from the CEOs of four major meatpackers during a hearing entitled: An Examination of Price Discrepancies, Transparency, and Alleged Unfair Practices in Cattle Markets.

Both the House and the Senate remain closed to the public. The hearings will be available online.

NRDC Offers Crop Insurance Reforms

The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) published a 60 plus page report with farm policy recommendations for “regenerative agriculture” last week. The report features a series of crop insurance recommendations (starting on page 18). The NRDC report recommends that farmers should get a higher premium subsidy or lower premium rate for practices that improve soil health. It also recommends that farmers should no longer be allowed to exclude some bad years from their yield histories. Other suggestions include reducing subsidies that don’t provide direct conservation benefits, implementing income caps for eligibility, and expanding conservation compliance provisions that require conservation practices in return for subsidies. Most, if not all, of these suggestions will be ignored by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.

Recognition of Long-Standing Members

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 2022 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



Join Date

# of Years

Richard C. Carlson, AFM-Retired

Webster City




Eldon H. Greenwood, AFM-Retired





Lowell E. Akers, AFM, ARA





James D. Cannon, ARA





Walter D. Armer, Jr., ARA





James A. Garrett, ARA





Jimmy R. Johnson





Kenneth E. Kirk, AFM





View More Long-Standing Members Here!

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
Cassidy Burnside in Auburn, AL (Alabama Chapter)
Justin Chittam with First South Farm Credit in Harvest, AL (Alabama Chapter)
Joshua DeGraw with Peoples Company in Rochester, MI (Michigan Chapter)
Delaney Dougherty in Buckeye, AZ (Arizona Chapter)
Ryan Flynn with Farm Credit Services of America in Broken Bow, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Ken Greenhill with American AgCredit in Montrose, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Preston King with Peoples Company in Jonesboro, AR (Mid-South Chapter)
Shawn Knauff with AgChoice Farm Credit, ACA in Hadley, PA (Northeast Chapte)
Hannah Lamb in Sparta, WI (Wisconsin Chapter)
Kasey Maypark in Baldwin, WI (Wisconsin Chapter)
Heather Mull with Placer Realty Advisors LLC in Moseley, VA (Carolinas Virginias Chapter)
Jess Nighswonger with Schrader Real Estate and Auction in Keenesburg, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Michael Oktavec in Wilmington, NC (Carolinas Virginias Chapter)
Emily Ooms with Farm Credit East in Newark, NY (Northeast Chapter)
Luke Schrader with Schrader Real Estate and Auction in Columbia City, IN (Indiana Chapter)
Dirk Schuil with U.S. Agriculture in Visalia, CA (California Chapter)
William Scruggs with Wm. Scruggs & Associates in Grant, AL (Alabama Chapter)
Ethan Sorensen with United Farm and Ranch Management in Lincoln, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Maverick Sukstorf with Farmers National Company in Cedar Bluffs, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Eric Vetter with Northern Plains Appraisal in Aberdeen, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Colten Yager in Vicksburg, MI (Michigan 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!

Grant Fitzgerald, AFM
Frederick Geyer, ARA
Gwendolyn “Wendy” Gunter
Patrick Karst, ARA
Randall Kyles, ARA
David Martin
Katie McDowell
David Mielnicki
Clark Oman
Nicholas Pease
Luke Schrader
Christopher Scow
Graham Smith
Mykel Taylor, PhD
Mark Williams, ARA
Shawn Wood, ARA

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