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ASFMRA Ag News - March 28, 2023

By ASFMRA Press posted 03-27-2023 11:40 PM


John Wayne’s California Ranch Hits the Market for $12 Million

A sprawling California ranch once owned by John Wayne has hit the market.

The Rancho Pavoreal (Peacock Ranch in Spanish) is available for $12 million, FOX Business has learned. The property spreads 2,000 acres in Sage, a small agricultural community.

The 3,000-square-foot residence is located 20 minutes away from Temecula Wine Country and is situated halfway between San Diego to the south and Palm Springs to the northeast — about a 90-minute gallop from each. It’s also a two-hour drive from downtown Los Angeles.

Read the Full Story

Illinois Farmland Still off to the Races, End in Sight

The takeaway from the most recent Illinois farmland values survey: 2022 continued to be a hot, hot year for escalating land values, with the best land up 16% over last year and up 45% since 2021 — but farm managers don’t expect that to continue into 2023.

The Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers released its annual farmland values survey late last week, showing continued dramatic gains in every category, including the highest-quality land that sold for an average of $16,005 per acre. Here’s a look average per-acre sales prices in each class:

Excellent. $16,005
Good. $11,871
Average. $8,359
Fair. $6,473
Recreational. $4,951
Transitional. $27,177

Read the Full Story or Purchase the 2023 Land Values Report

House Passes Bill to Restrict Eminent Domain for Pipelines

Legislation that would restrict carbon dioxide pipeline companies’ ability to use eminent domain was overwhelmingly approved by the Iowa House on Wednesday.

“I believe that the issue before us today — and the vote that we will take on this issue — is indeed historic,” said Rep. Steven Holt, the Denison Republican who led House File 565 to passage.

The bill would require pipeline companies to obtain voluntary easements for 90% of their routes before they could use eminent domain for the rest.

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FBN Finds as Much as 283% Price Variation Between Farmers Buying Same Ag Chem

On a self-proclaimed mission to democratize information, Farmers Business Network (FBN) released their fifth Ag Chemical Price Transparency Report since 2015 on Thursday. The report collected more than 3,000 data points from approximately 300 farms across 37 states. The company found as much as 283% price variation between farmers buying the same products.

Report author and FBN Chief Economist Kevin McNew explains, after 18 months of extreme price volatility in the agricultural chemical supply chain, the company believes it’s time to revisit the notion of price transparency.

“FBN launched in 2014 out of the need for more transparency and competition in input markets which the internet helps address, but as we see it's still a major problem for farmers,” McNew says.

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Soil Health Program First of Its Kind

An agronomist’s advice can either make or break your farm’s yields, profits and, even, future. Enter the North Dakota Trusted Advisor Partnership — a new coalition made up of the Sustainable Food Lab, North Dakota State University and a variety of food and beverage companies.

The coalition works to equip certified crop advisers with actionable knowledge around soil health-building practices that best work for you and your farm.

Abbey Wick, NDSU Extension soil health specialist, says this program started as a way to join companies together and promote soil health. “Different food and beverage companies all had ideas, and it was recommended that we all talk at once,” she says. “As soon as we told the companies our ideas, they were on board.”

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ASFMRA Government Relations Update

Advocates Urge Sufficient Funding for Farm Bill

Four hundred organizations signed a letter sent to the House and Senate Budget Committees urging the committees to provide “sufficient budgetary resources … to craft a bipartisan, multi-year, farm bill. The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers signed the letter as well.

Appraisal Subcommittee Seeks Survey Comments

The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) published a Notice and Request for Comment in the Federal Register last week. The ASC plans a survey later this year to examine the real world experiences of active appraisers and the potential impacts of TAF’s policies and to what extent appraiser training requirements are relevant to the necessary experience needed to enter the profession. Of particular interest to the ASC is how TAF policies may disproportionately affect aspiring appraisers who historically have been denied equitable treatment because of their race or ethnicity, or both. Comments are due by May 22.

Senate Agriculture Committee Hears from Secretary Vilsack

Recently, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack was the sole witness before the Senate Agriculture Committee. The hearing billed as an oversight hearing was wide ranging with some discussion about the upcoming farm bill but most of it focused on current issues facing the department and U.S. Agriculture. The hearing lasted over 3 hours. Secretary Vilsack’s written testimony can be found here.

Starting around the 22:25 mark Chairwoman Stabenow (D-MI) makes the point that an increase in nutrition spending does not rob resources from crop insurance or other farm programs just as increases in crop insurance when natural disasters strike does not impact nutrition spending. She then goes on to say that reckless mandatory budget cuts as proposed by some in the House will result in cuts to farm and nutrition spending. Some reporters have interpreted her remarks to mean if cuts in nutrition spending are pursued (particularly by Republicans in the House see piece below re nutrition spending), then cuts in farm program spending will also result.

Senate Republican Agriculture Committee members, including Ranking Member Boozman (R-AR, starting around 43:58) questioned Secretary Vilsack regarding the Department’s decision to increase nutrition spending by over $300 million with the update to the Thrifty Food Plan as well as the department’s use of CCC funding for its climate smart initiative.

House Agriculture Committee Hosts Listening Session in Texas

The House Agriculture Committee hosted a farm bill listening session in Waco Texas. All members of the House Agriculture Committee were invited to attend along with the Texas delegation. There were several calls for a “modernized” crop insurance program as well as improvements to the farm safety net program. Interestingly, the Committee heard testimony that work requirements attached to nutrition assistance don’t largely provide job training assistance in TX (2nd largest SNAP program in the country) but rather result in too much of an administrative burden for the recipient who spends hours every week documenting that they’ve been looking for work.

Representative Johnson Introduces Work Requirement Bill

Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced a bill that kicks off one of the primary debates the House Agriculture Committee will have involving the nutrition title (nearly 85% of total spending) of the farm bill. Representative Johnson, along with 23 other Republican co-sponsors introduced the America Works Act, a bill to reform work requirements for able-bodied Americans receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Democrats and nutrition advocates oppose the bill. The debate over nutrition spending tends to drift over to farm program and crop insurance spending (see Senate Agriculture hearing above).

No SNAP Cuts

During an interview last week, House Agriculture Ranking Member David Scott (D-GA) drew a bright line around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as Congress begins to write the 2023 farm bill. Representative Scott said: “There is no way we are going to accept any cuts in this program.” During the 15-minute interview Representative Scott rejected cuts to SNAP four times. His remarks join those previously made by Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). SNAP represents nearly 84% of the farm bill’s 10-year spending baseline.

Crop Insurance Farm Bill Proposals

Last week saw the release of several organizations farm bill proposals. Crop insurance proposals made the list from the North American Millers Association, a coalition of conservation groups, and the National Organic Coalition. The North American Miller’s Association proposes that intentionally seeded and harvestable winter wheat, winter barley, and rye should have the option of being classified as a “cover crop” by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services and other climate-smart programs. The proposal would require legislative changes to the first crop/ second crop rules or an expansion of double cropping allowances.

Meanwhile the conservation coalition, led by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition seeks to maintain conservation compliance and expand sodsaver provisions. The coalition also would direct the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to offer actuarially sound crop insurance rebates for soil health practices that demonstrably reduce risk (e.g., cover crops, conservation crop rotation) as well as provide a $5 per acre premium discount to facilitate the planting of cover crops. The coalition would also direct RMA to collect data on conservation practices (e.g., cover cropping, conservation crop rotation, conservation tillage) to determine to what extent each practice decreases risk.

Finally, the National Organic Coalition has a series of crop insurance proposals starting on page 17 of their report. The proposals cover changes to APH, planting dates, good farming practices, and the training of RMA staff.

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
Frances Alford in Tallahassee, FL (Florida Chapter)
Brendan Beazer with Farmers National Company in Geneseo, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Nye Becker in Marshall, MN (Minnesota Chapter)
Jennifer Byrd with Carolina Farm Credit in Asheboro, NC (Carolinas Virginias Chapter)
Justin DoCanto with Correia-Xavier, Inc. in Tulare, CA (California Chapter)
Hayley Duke with AgVisory in Ocean City, MD (Northeast Chapter)
Daniel Ganz with Hertz Farm Management in Crawfordsville, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Tara Green with Ameren in St. Louis, MO (Illinois Chapter)
Jacob Hower with JH. Hower & Associates, Inc. in Hanford, CA (California Chapter)
John McQueen with Riverside Realty Services in Lake Suzy, FL (Florida Chapter)
Dudley Ricketts with Farmers National Company in Little York, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Clare Schoelerman in Milford, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Kelton Schuckman with High Plains Farm Credit in Hays, KS (Kansas Chapter)
Maggie Silvertooth with United States Department of the Interior in Lakewood, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Bryan Wallace with Boles Appraisal Services, LLC in Nabb, IN (Indiana 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!

Doug Cesky
Julie Gonsalves
Kirk Green, ARA
Rick Gullickson, AFM
Ryan Kay, AFM
Philip McAuley
Jim Pruitt, RPRA
Eric Skolness, AFM
Nick Westgerdes, AFM

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

In Memory: David E. Peterson - Lakewood, Colorado

The ASFMRA was honored to welcome David (Dave) E. Peterson into the ASFMRA membership in 1966 as an Associate member. He obtained his ARA designation and went to the Accredited membership classification in 1985. He also obtained his AFM designation. He maintained his Accredited membership until he transferred to the Retired membership classification in 2019. Dave was a Past ASFMRA President, serving as the ASFMRA President 1983-84. He also volunteered his time and served on numerous National Committees which include Management/Consulting Education/Accreditation Committee as a member in 1976 and 1978-79 as well as the Chair of that Committee in 1977 and 1980-81; Nominating Committee as a member from 1984-85 as well as the Chair of that Committee in 1986; Appraisal Education/Accreditation Committee as a member in 1988; and Awards Committee as a member in 1988-91 as well as the Chair of that Committee in 1992. Dave made many friends through his association with the ASFMRA who will miss him greatly. A celebration of life service will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 from 2-5 PM at Fox Hollow Golf Clubhouse, 13410 Morrison Rd, Lakewood, CO 80228. The location was selected because the clubhouse is built on the site of his childhood home. He and Rita also raised their three children there until the Corps of Engineers took the property in the 70's for the Bear Creek Reservoir. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the ASFMRA Education Foundation. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.