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ASFMRA Ag News - August 30, 2022

By ASFMRA Press posted 08-30-2022 08:33 AM


Have Land Values Peaked? Expert Sees Prices Steady With Record-Setting Sales in Iowa

Land values have hit record levels in the past year. According to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. land values so far in 2022 are up $420 per acre, or 12.4%, to an average $3,800 per acre. The biggest percentage increase comes in Iowa, but other Midwestern states aren’t far behind. The question everyone wants answered is can land prices keep going up?

In times of high commodity prices, it's not uncommon to see land values rise, but there have been some record-setting values and percentage increases this year. For example, Iowa land values have increased 21.4% to $9,400 per acre; South Dakota, up nearly 19%; and Minnesota, 17.4%.

Dennis Reyman, AFM, ARA, and Immediate Past President of the ASFMRA, says it’s not just farmers pushing the market. "A lot of it is a hedge on inflation, and a lot more investors are involved. Plus farmers have enough cash to push it higher as well. There's a lot more volume on the market."

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What Does California’s Ban on Gas-Powered Vehicles Mean for Ethanol?

The California Air Resources Board approved California’s Advanced Clean Cars 2 regulation, which establishes an escalating ban on the sale of gasoline and diesel-fueled cars and trucks, culminating with a 100% ban by 2035. Ethanol supporters say the action misses out on other solutions, including ethanol, for reducing carbon emissions beyond just the use of electric vehicles.

The regulations will take effect starting in 2026, when 35% of all car sales in the state must be for zero-emission vehicles, more than doubling the current share of ZEVs. In 2019, the last full year before COVID, California used 1.59 billion gallons of ethanol representing just over 10% of national consumption, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. Sales of E85 flex fuel in California surged to a new record in 2021, jumping 55% over 2020 levels and nearly doubling since 2018.

“California regulators missed an opportunity to allow for more innovation and broaden low- and zero-emission solutions, additive to electric vehicles, to maximize emissions reductions while improving equity for consumers,” the National Corn Growers Association says.

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Family Ranch of the Late Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher Back on the Market for $2.85 Million

Freedom Farms, a California ranch that was owned by Debbie Reynolds and where her daughter, Carrie Fisher, often visited, has hit the market for $2.85 million.

The more than 44-acre estate is located in Creston, California, which is in San Luis Obispo County and about equidistant from both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Reynolds and her son, film director and producer Todd Fisher, owned the property jointly for more than three decades, according to the listing.

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Local Ag Groups Help Small Farmers Recover After Eastern Kentucky Flooding

The floods overwhelmed the creek beside Larry Noble’s home in Perry County. In the blink of an eye, rising water washed away a hundred of Noble’s chickens and two dogs from his farm.

“It come so fast and come in the night, I can’t tell you nothing. It just come all at once,” Noble said.

The floods in eastern Ky. wrecked homes, lives and an important source of income and fresh food for the region. In just the first week, farmers in eastern Kentucky reported nearly $3.5 million in damages and lost income, according to the Community Farm Alliance.

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Droughts Indicate Far-Reaching Impacts, AFBF Survey Shows

Over 60 percent of the American West, Southwest, and Central Plains are under D3 — also known as severe — droughts or higher. The severe shortages reported are impacting 17 states that account for nearly half of the nation’s $364 billion in agricultural production — putting commodities, farms, ranches, and local economies reliant on crops, and downstream products at risk.

To measure the impacts of the drought, American Farm Bureau Federation has released three editions of a survey Assessing Western Drought Conditions: June 2021, October 2021, and the third survey between June 8 and July 20.

Survey responses from over 650 county and state Farm Bureau leaders, staff, and members in 15 states indicate that drought impacts not only impact crop yields but also destroy orchard trees and multiyear crops and force partial herd and flock dispersals. Out of the respondents, nearly three-fourths indicated a reduction in harvest yields, while two-thirds indicated selling portions of their herds.

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ASFMRA Government Relations Update

More 2020 and 2021 Disaster Payments on the Way

USDA announced another installment in assistance to commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021. More than 18,000 producers will soon receive new or updated pre-filled disaster applications to offset eligible crop losses.

FSA will begin mailing pre-filled applications in late August to producers who have potentially eligible losses and:

  • Received crop insurance indemnities for qualifying 2020 and 2021 disaster events after May 2, 2022.
  • Received crop insurance indemnities associated with Nursery, Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) and Margin Protection (MP) policies.
  • New primary policyholders not included in the initial insured producer Phase 1 mailing from May 25, 2022, because their claim records had not been filled.
  • Certain 2020 prevent plant losses related to qualifying 2020 disaster events that had only been recorded in crop insurance records as related to 2019 adverse weather events and, as such, were not previously provided in applications sent earlier this year.
  • New Substantial Beneficial Interest (SBI) records, including SBIs where tax identification numbers were corrected.

Producers are expected to receive assistance direct deposited into their bank account within three business days after they sign and return the pre-filled application to the FSA county office and the county office enters the application into the system. 

RMA Announces Additional Organic Premium Assistance for 2023

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) released a notice of funding availability last week for a Transitional and Organic Grower Assistance program (TOGA). TOGA is funded by additional corona virus funding made available by the 2021 omnibus appropriations bill. TOGA provides premium assistance to producers who insure their crop during the 2023 reinsurance year. Eligible producers will receive a discount on their premium billing statement:

  • For crops in transition to certified organic, producers can receive 10 percentage points of premium subsidy.
  • For certified organic grain and feed crops, producers can receive $5 premium assistance per insured acre.
  • For Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policies with crops in transition or certified organic crops, producers can receive 10 percentage points of premium subsidy. In addition to the WFRP benefit, producers who have additional individual crop insurance policies will also receive the applicable premium benefit on those policies.

NRCS Announces Additional Nutrient Management Funding

USDA gave an indication of how it plans to use some of the nearly $20 billion provided to conservation programs via the Inflation Reduction Act recently signed by President Biden. The Natural Resource Conservation Service will spend some of the funds to improve on-farm nutrient management, specifically:

Streamlined Nutrient Management Initiative – A streamlined initiative will incentivize nutrient management activities through key conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), EQIP Conservation Incentive Contracts, and the Conservation Stewardship Program. The initiative will use a ranking threshold for pre-approval and include a streamlined and expedited application process, targeted outreach to small-scale and historically underserved producers, and coordination with FSA to streamline the program eligibility process for producers new to USDA.

Nutrient Management Economic Benefits Outreach Campaign – A new outreach campaign will highlight the economic benefits of nutrient management planning for farmers. The potential net savings to farmers who adopt a nutrient management plan is estimated to be an average of $30 per acre for cropland.

Expanded Nutrient Management Support through Technical Service Providers Streamlining and Pilots – New agreements with key partners who have existing capacity to support nutrient management planning and technical assistance will expand benefits and serve as a model to continue streamlining the certification process for Technical Service Providers (TSPs).

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
Carter Canham with American Land Agency in Saint Lawrence, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Noah Heezen in Plankinton, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Zan Luna with Appraisal & Valuation Services Office, DOI in Denver, CO (New Mexico 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!

Brian Gatzke, ARA
Ryan McKnight

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