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Is Trouble Brewing for the Farm Economy For the first time since September 2020, the rural economy is showing signs of weakness. That’s according to the March Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University. For June 2022, the RMI sits at 49.8. That is down from May’s 57.7. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50 representing growth neutral and is generated by a monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy. “Much like the nation, the growth in the Rural Mainstreet economy is slowing,” says Ernie Goss, who chairs Creighton’s Heider College of Business and leads the RMI. “Supply ...
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By Claudia Gaglione, National Claims Counsel for LIA Administrators & Insurance Services We continue to see claims alleging that the rural property appraiser failed to adequately identify or report details surrounding a water source. In one claim, the appraiser correctly noted that the property was serviced by a “private water well.” It was later discovered that the well was not located on the property which was appraised. Unfortunately, the well was actually located on an adjacent lot that, at one time, was part of the subject lot prior to the lots being subdivided. In another matter, the report said the property was serviced by “public water.” While ...
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Iowa Has Seen a 10% Increase in Cash Rent in 2022, Due to Higher Commodity Prices The most recent annual survey of cash rental rates for Iowa farmland shows that rates increased, on average, by 10.3% in 2022 to $256 per acre. This is the third consecutive and largest uptick in cash rents since 2013, when rents peaked at $270 per acre — a level 5.5% higher in nominal terms than in 2022. In comparison, nominal corn and soybean prices received by farmers in Iowa declined by 16% and 11%, respectively, since mid-2013. Iowans supplied 1,401 usable responses about typical cash rental rates in their counties for land producing corn and soybeans, hay, oats and pasture. ...
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Who Are the Biggest Absentee Landowners in Illinois? It was a cold January day in 2021 when Eric O’Keefe, editor and founder of The Land Report, walked up to the podium at the Land Expo in Iowa and announced Bill Gates as America’s largest individual farmland owner. He learned this after investigating Gates’ purchase of the 100 Circles farm in eastern Washington by one of Gates’ holding companies. I oversaw the management of the 100 Circles farm when Gates bought it during my tenure at Hancock Farmland Services, in 2018. Nestled next to the Columbia River Gorge, the farm was a sight to behold. Long warm days and cool summer nights with plenty of water from ...
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Strengthened Commodity Prices; But High Cost Inflation Worries Farmers The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer improved in April to a reading of 121, which was 8 points higher than a month earlier. Despite this month’s increase, the ag sentiment index remains 32% lower than its April 2021 reading. This month’s modest rise in the barometer was attributable to an improvement in ag producers’ perspective on their current situation as well as what they expect for the future. The Index of Current Conditions rose 7 points to a reading of 120 while the Index of Future Expectations rose 9 points to an index value of 122. Similar to the barometer, both ...
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For this spotlight, we're sharing a recent "Member Focus" from the Iowa Chapter of the ASFMRA. Jake Miller, AFM, has been with the Society since 2019 and earned his Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) designation in 2021. He is currently working out of Cedar Falls, Iowa, for Hertz Farm Management Can you describe your experience and education related to the property professional field? I grew up in Nevada, IA where I was heavily involved in FFA and 4-H. Through the opportunities with family, friends, the community and great vocational ag instructors I became heavily interested in agriculture. I graduated from Iowa State University, majoring in Ag Systems Technology. ...
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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 ...
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Western Kansas Land Values Could Lose Billions As Water Sources Run Dry In increasingly dry western Kansas, underground water makes everything possible. Irrigation for crops. Stock water for cattle. Drinking water for towns. In all, the Ogallala Aquifer provides 70-80% of water used by Kansans each day. So how much is all that water worth? A recent study from Kansas State University says the aquifer under western Kansas increases land values by nearly $4 billion. But those billions are drying up at an accelerating rate. Aquifer water levels across western and central Kansas dropped by more than a foot on average this past year. That’s the biggest single-year ...
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E arlier this year, the ASFMRA ran a story in its bi-weekly newsletter, Ag News , covering the sale of the famous Four Sixes Ranch in Texas to Taylor Sheridan, creator of the hit TV show “Yellowstone.” This story contained inaccurate and incomplete information pertaining to the sales price and acreage of the Four Sixes Ranch. The article , which appeared on the “Taste of Country” website, made the following statement regarding the transaction: “The legendary Four Sixes Ranch […] was recently sold for just under $200 million to a group that's believed to be led by Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan. Initial listings show that the owners sought more than ...
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Nebraska Land Values on the Rise The value of agricultural land in Nebraska increased by an average of 16% over the prior year, to a statewide average of $3,360 per acre, according to the preliminary findings of the 2022 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey. This marks the largest increase in the market value of agricultural land in the state since 2014, and is the highest non-inflation-adjusted statewide land value in the history of the survey. According to the survey, higher commodity prices and interest rates near historic lows have contributed to the recent robust real estate sales market. Survey participants also reported that those purchasing land ...
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Court Merrigan, AFM, is a member of both the Nebraska and Wyoming Chapters of the ASFMRA. He joined the ASFMRA in April of 2020 and recently earned his AFM designation in January, 2022. When did you begin working in agriculture? At birth. I’m old enough that when I was growing up on the farm when there were no pivots, there were open cab tractors and a lot of shoveling. I grew up on a farm in western Nebraska. I live in eastern Wyoming now, but I’m just 30 miles from the farm I grew up on, which is still in the family. We have some other land that I’m hoping to pass onto my kids -- they’ll be the 5th generation to own it. What ag issues are you passionate ...
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Is Farmland Set to Deflate? The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released its quarterly AgLetter in early February, reporting land values in Illinois jumped an astonishing 18% in 2021. Auction results for prime farmland are reaching stratospheric levels of $17,000 to $18,000 per acre. These are prices never seen before. Is it a bubble? Economic bubbles can be described as the competition of greater fools. That is, the investor purchasing today relies on the presumption that there is a greater fool who will buy from them at a higher price tomorrow. Of course, nobody thinks they are the fool in the moment. Everybody knows smart business is to buy low and sell ...
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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 ...
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For this member spotlight, we bring you Rebecca Rutan, ARA. Rebecca has been an ASFMRA member since 2013, and recently finished up her term as the 2021-2022 President of the Idaho-Utah Chapter. She currently works as an appraiser for Northwest Farm Credit Services. When did you begin your career in ag appraisal? I began my career in agriculture appraisal in 2013, and became interested in the profession after taking a college course. I met Susan Robbins, ARA, while working for the Idaho Department of Lands and was able to make a transition to the Farm Credit system and began working on my state certification. My degree is in Range and Livestock Management. ...
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Rapid Increase in Farmland Values in Central Plains Fueled by strong farm income and low interest rates, farmland values soared more than 20% in the central Plains during 2021, according to a quarterly survey of ag bankers by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. A majority of the lenders said they expected values to increase this year, but an equally large number “also indicated that farmland values were currently overvalued, suggesting there may still be future risks of declines,” said the regional Fed. It was one of the few notes of caution during the rapid run-up in land values in the Farm Belt. Read the Full Story USDA: 2021 Agricultural Exports ...
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6666 Ranch Sells to Creator of "Yellowstone" The legendary Four Sixes Ranch (often written as the 6666 Ranch) was recently sold for just under $200 million to a group that's believed to be led by Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan. Initial listings show that the owners sought more than $340 million for the 143,000-acre property. The barn, cattle, mineral rights (oil), main house and more are part of the sale. Real estate broker Sam Middleton confirms to KVUE-TV that the property has sold, but didn't disclose the buyer. For more than a year, Sheridan's name was attached to the buy, and after closing, the Fort Worth Report confirmed it was Sheridan's group ...
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In this member spotlight, we're highlighting Dallas Mahoney, AFM, of Marshall, Minnesota. Dallas earned his Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) designation last year, and is currently working as a farm manager and licensed real estate salesperson for Northwestern Farm Management Co. When did you begin your career in agriculture? I began my career in agriculture after graduating from South Dakota State University in 2011. My first initial job was working as a Farm Bill specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the USDA. Growing up in rural Southwest Minnesota, agriculture is the backbone of our local economy and small communities. I knew from ...
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2021 Land Report: Who Owns the Most Land in the United States? America’s leading landowners added hundreds of thousands of acres to their holdings last year. That’s one of the many takeaways from the 2021 Land Report 100, which is compiled each year by Land Report magazine. Now in its 15th edition, this landmark study tracks the diverse array of farmers, ranchers, forest owners, entrepreneurs, and investors who own at a minimum 243.75 square miles. As time has proven, this ownership figure is a moving target — and it keeps moving up. In the study’s first year, 2007, the founder of Burt’s Bees, Roxanne Quimby, qualified for the No. 100 slot with 75,000 acres ...
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Eleventh Circuit Deals IRS Defeat In Conservation Easement Struggle The Eleventh Circuit has thrown a monkey wrench into the IRS machinery grinding away at abusive conservation easement deductions. Judge Barbara Lagoa, a Trump appointee, wrote the opinion in David and Tammy Hewitt v Commissioner of IRS issued on December 29, 2021. The Hewitts were appealing a 2020 Tax Court decision by Judge Goeke. The Hewitts had claimed a $2.8 million deduction on their 2012 return. Somehow the 2012 return got by, but the IRS was disallowing carryovers in 2013 and 2014. Judge Goeke agreed with the disallowance resulting in deficiencies of $336,894 and $347,878 for 2013 ...
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Iowa Farmland Values Jump 29% After several years of modest gains and losses, the average value of an acre of Iowa farmland skyrocketed 29% in 2021. The nominal value of an acre of farmland is now higher than at any point since Iowa State University and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach began surveying values in 1941, and is 12% higher than the previous peak in 2013; although the current value in inflation-adjusted terms is still lower than that for 2012 and 2013. The last time farmland values increased more than 25% was in 2011, when values rose 32.5%. “Surging ethanol demand and high commodity prices were two of the significant factors driving ...
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