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ASFMRA Ag News - September 27, 2022

By ASFMRA Press posted 09-26-2022 11:02 PM


Terry Bradshaw’s Oklahoma Ranch Back on the Market

Back in 2019, there was lots of buzz about the Oklahoma ranch of iconic Pittsburg Steeler player and broadcaster Terry Bradshaw going up for sale. However, the prospective buyer who was attempting to acquire the ranch failed to close on the transaction — which means the 744-acre state-of-the-art equine breeding facility, cattle facility, and recreational ranch is back on the market.

Let me just dig around in my jeans pocket for that $22.5 million asking price.

The property and facilities in Thackerville, Oklahoma, about an hour from Dallas and Fort Worth, are a turnkey-ready proposition for a major equestrian player in the horse business or continued use as a cattle or private recreational ranch, said Icon Global Group, the company that is handling the sale. The property is punctuated by an 8,600-square-foot main house, as well as eight lakes and ponds.

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Wetlands on the Farm: Nutrient-Capturing Tools in (Relatively) Small Packages

The study took place at the Franklin Research and Demonstration Farm, a 250-acre tract owned by the Franklins and partnered with TNC and the University of Illinois. The researchers built three wetland areas, each made up of three interconnected “cells” from a quarter to three-quarters of an acre in size. This allowed the team to compare nutrient levels after water had drained through one, then two, then all three cells. Each cell represented 3% of the total cropland served by the drain tiles.

After analyzing a dozen years of data, the team found that even a single cell proved a fine filter, reducing nitrates by 15–38% and phosphates by 53–81%. Tacking on the additional cells further boosted results although at a lesser rate; 3–6% of total cropland was the sweet spot.

The important take-home message, according to Kirkham: “These wetlands work at reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels from tile drainage, and they don’t have to be very big to work.”

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Unusual Market Forces Drive Farmland Sales

Western Corn Belt farmers sometimes escape summer heat briefly in Colorado’s mountains. The views and altitude there can take your breath away. An Iowa cornfield can accomplish the same goal in midsummer. However, it’s not because of stifling heat and humidity. Instead, this heart-stopping feeling occurs from the price of the ground under a farmer’s boots.

The biggest increase was in those Iowa fields—up 36% from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2022. “That’s a stunning number,” says Jim Knuth, the lender’s senior vice president who is based in Iowa.

FCSAmerica bases this value on twice-yearly appraisals of “benchmark farms” in the four states. It uses that information to estimate collateral value of land. FCSAmerica also compares the appraisals to actual sales. FCS has 21 benchmarks in Iowa; values on eight of those farms exceeded $15,000 per acre.

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U.S. Plans Rule to Protect Livestock Farmers From Company Retaliation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing regulations to prevent meat companies from retaliating against livestock and poultry farmers who speak out on practices such as price-fixing, the agency said on Monday.

The USDA also said it would work with state attorneys general to investigate anticompetitive practices in the agricultural sector that contribute to inflation.

The moves aim to increase competition in the highly concentrated meat industry as part of a broader effort by the Biden administration.

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Soaring Input Costs Are Accelerating Ag Tech Adoption

Sky-high costs for fertilizer, crop protection products, and labor are increasing the number of U.S. farmers turning to ag tech tools and products, according to a new survey from McKinsey & Company. The research surveyed 1,300 U.S. crop farmers, 80% of whom cite input costs as the biggest risk to profitability.

Some 50% of small farmers plan to use new yield-increase products; 30% of large farmers (those with more than 5,000 acres) plan to use “green” products such as biofertilizers, citing lower costs per acre.

A combination of geopolitical conflict, climate change and ongoing supply chain disruptions have sent global input costs to all-time highs this year. And there’s no certain end in sight for these volatile market conditions and input costs.

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ASFMRA Government Relations Update

USDA Announces $2.8 Billion for Climate Smart Projects

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. Projects from the second funding pool will be announced later this year. Originally USDA planned to use $1 billion from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for this first funding tranche. None of the projects directly impacts crop insurance although several could possibly impact crop insurance indirectly over the long-term.

USDA’s anticipated investment will triple to more than $3 billion in pilots that will create market opportunities for American commodities produced using climate-smart production practices. USDA received over 450 proposals from more than 350 entities for this funding pool, including nonprofit organizations; for-profits and government entities; farmer cooperatives; conservation, energy, and environmental groups; state, tribal and local governments; universities (including minority serving institutions); small businesses; and large corporations. Applications covered every state in the nation as well as tribal lands, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The tentative selections reflect the broad set of applicants and geographic scope, and the proposals include plans to match on average over 50% of the federal investment with nonfederal funds.

House Agriculture Committee Reviews Conservation Programs

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry held a stakeholder review of the USDA administered conservation programs last week. The Committee’s Ranking Member, Representative Thompson (R-PA) attended and said in his opening remarks (starting around 5:30 mark) that the “unprecedented partisan spending spree” by the Democrats “endangered the bipartisan conservation title work” from the 2018 farm bill. Congressman Thompson specifically said he didn’t feel bound to the amount or allocation of conservation spending (nearly $20 billion) in the Inflation Reduction Act and questioned the Secretary of Agriculture’s authority to spend funds (see $2.8 billion announcement) from the Commodity Credit Corporation for climate smart commodities projects.

House Agriculture Committee Republicans Question USDA Executive Actions

House Agriculture Committee Republicans sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack last week questioning the Department’s use of executive decisions. The letter was signed by all Republican members of the House Agriculture Committee. Specifically, the letter questions recent Packers and Stockyard regulations, recent anti-trust enforcement action by USDA and DOJ, and the statutory authority for the Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities program. The letter demands USDA provide information in all three of these areas to the Committee by October 7th.

It is clear from Representative Thompson’s remarks at the conservation hearing last week (see above) and the letter sent to the Secretary that if Republicans take the majority in the House of Representatives after the November election, they will seek to change USDA’s agenda, particularly its climate agenda, most likely via the upcoming farm bill.

Fiscal Year End Looming

The Federal Fiscal Year ends this Friday. Congress will work this week to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown. Mostly likely the CR will fund the government through mid-December. Several significant sticking points remain to be negotiated this week, including expedited energy project permitting authorities sought by Senator Manchin (D-WV). Both parties are working to avoid a government shutdown.

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
Nate Ammons in Albia, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Ismael Avila with Cape Fear Farm Credit in Raeford, NC (Carolinas Virginias Chapter)
Solomon Bach in Rapid City, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Makayla Brennecke in Ames, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Carter Canham with American Land Agency in Saint Lawrence, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Will Clapper in Rhodes, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Nathan Clark with Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Benjamin Davis with Farm Credit Illinois in Mahomet, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Jason DurJava with Ag Land Consultants in Turlock, CA (Oklahoma Chapter)
Frank Fassl with BBG, Inc. in San Luis Obispo, CA (California Chapter)
Megan Finfrock with First Illinois Ag Group in Clinton, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Victoria Fleming with Farm Credit West in Morro Bay, CA (California Chapter)
Molly Hanson with American Ag Credit in Oakdale, CA (California Chapter)
Ryan Haringa with Yosemite Farm Credit in Denair, CA (California Chapter)
Noah Heezen in Plankinton, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Molly Holthaus with First Mid Ag Services in Mattoon, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Richard Kirkland with Kirkland Appraisals, LLC in Raleigh, NC (Carolinas Virginias Chapter)
Sandra Kuhn in Delaware, OH (Ohio Chapter)
Kathy Loew with Lake Homes & Land Sales-Keller Williams Platinum Partners in Unionville, MO (Missouri Chapter)
Zan Luna with Appraisal & Valuation Services Office, DOI in Denver, CO (New Mexico Chapter)
Robert Perdue with Perdue Russell Matthies Real Estate Appraisal in Temecula, CA (California Chapter)
Becca Qvigstad in Moses Lake, WA (Washington Chapter)
Eric Redeker with Wells Fargo in Blum, TX (Texas Chapter)
Paige Simonavice in Lakewood, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Billy Sossamon with Farm Credit Services of Western Arkansas in Fort Smith, AR (Mid-South Chapter)
Adam Stenzel with Central Bank Illinois in Geneseo, IL (Illinois 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!

Richard Bell, ARA
Michael Garcia
Brian Gatzke, ARA
Robert Harden
Boyd Harris
Cory Kauffman, AFM
Michael Kelly, AFM
Brennen Kraft
Kevin McCarty
Jim McCullough
Ryan McKnight
Brian Neville, AFM
Sydni Nicolici
Kent Reid
Melissa Sandlin, ARA
Traci Schermerhorn
Graham Smith
Justin Uhrig
Dan Whisenhunt, AAC-Inactive

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