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In This Issue Webinar: Ag Policy And The New Administration Member Spotlight: Elizabeth Heaton, AFM Upcoming Chapter Events America’s Biggest Owner Of Farmland Is Now Bill Gates Bill Gates, the fourth richest person in the world and a self-described nerd who is known for his early programming skills rather than his love of the outdoors, has been quietly snatching up 242,000 acres of farmland across the U.S. — enough to make him the top private farmland owner in America. After years of reports that he was purchasing agricultural land in places like Florida and Washington, The Land Report revealed that Gates, who has a net worth of nearly ...
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In This Issue Course: 15 Hour USPAP, Basic Principles and Procedures Seminar: Ag Lands in Transition Blog: 3 Reasons You Should Become a Real Property Review Appraiser Member Spotlight: Joel Ambrose The Positive Impact of Broadband on Farm Productivity The FCC’s Office of Economics and Analytics released a new paper titled “Impact of Broadband Penetration on U.S. Farm Productivity.” This report finds that broadband availability has significant positive impacts on crop yields and other farm production metrics. The working paper analyzes the impact of increased broadband availability in rural areas on the productivity of U.S. farms, ...
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Many professions have some form of quality control, and appraising is no different. Appraisal reports, like the products of any other industry, sometimes require extra due diligence in order to boost client confidence, or to ensure compliance with government regulations and requirements. That’s when review appraisers step in to offer their services. A review appraiser ensures that the right data was selected and reviewed in the original valuation, and assesses the underlying methods and analysis to ensure that the conclusion follows logically from the information included in the report.  With the additional complexities commonly found in rural properties, the ...
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For this spotlight, we're sharing a highlight of Melissa Halpin from the Illinois Chapter. Along with Elizabeth Heaton, Melissa will be leading the chapter's Young Professionals Network (YPN) through the coming year. Melissa has previous organizing experience with the ASFMRA, and she served as Chair of the Illinois Chapter Summer Tour in 2016. Background: I grew up on a registered Holstein dairy farm in Sheldon, Illinois – Iroquois County. I graduated with a bachelor’s in agriculture economics with a focus on farm and financial management from the University of Illinois. While at U of I was a member of the 4-H House sorority. Today I now reside with my two ...
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For this entry, we're sharing a Member Spotlight from the ASFMRA's Iowa Chapter.  Joel Ambrose joined the Society in 2014, and is currently pursuing his ARA while serving as a Chapter Director in Iowa.  Can you describe your experience and education related to the land professional field? My experience in rural appraisal started back at Oklahoma State University. My senior year I took a farm appraisal class and I really enjoyed it. My first career move in the industry was with the Commissioners of the Land Office with the State of Oklahoma. The Commissioners of the Land Office is a state organization that manages the property that is owned by the state for the ...
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Farms Weather Uncertain Financial Times During Pandemic When the novel coronavirus arrived in Oregon earlier this year, turning daily life on its head, Bryan Henney, a commercial banking officer at Columbia Bank, was swamped with calls from his clients in farming and agribusiness. "Really, the business community in its entirety was just gripped by fear," Henney remembers. "I was getting phone calls from my clients, even prospects that didn't work with me, concerned about what was happening. Northwest farms and food processors faced a monumental task ahead to comply with strict orders to protect worker health while remaining open as essential businesses ...
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Challenges in Setting 2021 Land Rental Rates Once harvest is completed in any given year, farm operators and non-farm landowners begin the tenuous task of negotiating annual land rental rates for the following crop year. Approximately 60-70% of crop land in the Upper Midwest is under a land rental agreement, and most rental agreements are negotiated on an annual basis. Arriving at equitable land rental rates for the 2021 crop year is even more of a challenge, given the variable crop yields in 2020 and the unexpected rise in grain market prices, as well as fairy high levels of government farm program payments during 2020. In the past, many land rental arrangements ...
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For this Member Spotlight, we're highlighting Tyler Walsh, ARA, from Fargo, North Dakota. Tyler is a member of both the Minnesota and North Dakota Chapters of the ASFMRA, and currently works for Crown Appraisals, Inc. Tyler joined the ASFMRA in 2015, and we want to congratulate him on recently earning his ARA designation. How did you begin your career in ag appraisal? Growing up on a dairy farm in Minnesota, I've been surrounded by agriculture my whole life. However, my career in ag appraisal didn't start until I joined Crown Appraisals in 2015. In college, my original plan was to become an accountant for a public or private accounting firm, but I was led ...
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Typically, the properties that generate complaints are unique properties. There is usually acreage and oftentimes outbuildings of various types, plus these parcels are far apart from one another. Comps are rarely found within a mile of the subject. Sometimes comps are located miles away, often in another town. Rural properties typically contain a variety of outbuildings, such as sheds, barns and even guesthouses or accessory dwellings. Some properties are zoned for horses and have corrals. Findings comps with similar features can be difficult. When a state board investigator is asked to look at one of these reports, they rarely take issue with the comparable ...
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USDA Exempts Family Farms From Limit on Farm Subsidy Recipients In a reversal, the USDA said on Wednesday that family-run farms are not subject to a rule that tightens eligibility standards for crop subsidies — the opposite of what it announced three months ago. A small-farm advocate criticized the “correction,” which applies to the bulk of U.S. farms, as a violation of the rule-making process and encouraged the incoming Biden administration to void it. At issue was an Aug. 24 regulation that requires people to perform at least 500 hours of active management or at least 25 percent of the management work needed in a year on a farm in order to qualify for a ...
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Farmer Optimism Rises to Record High On Improving Financial Conditions Farmer sentiment hit a new record high in October as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer climbed to a reading of 183, a 27-point increase compared to September. The reading easily eclipsed the previous record high set back in February, before the pandemic’s onset. Both of the barometer’s sub-indices also set new record highs in October. Producers were more optimistic about the future as the Index of Future Expectations rose to 186, 23 points higher than in September, and especially about the current situation, as the Index of Current Conditions reached 178, 36 points higher ...
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In September, the ASFMRA hosted a live seminar called “Appraising Unique & Atypical Properties” that was developed and instructed by Mark Williams, ARA. Williams, who has been in the appraising business since 1992, understands that the problem solving required for strange properties can be intimidating for some appraisers.  “We all come across these oddball projects, and sometimes we run from them,” said Williams. “We’d like to take them on, but we don’t always have the confidence." Of course, he isn’t referring to himself there. Over the years, Williams has accumulated a wealth of experience when it comes to dealing with “oddball” appraisals, and a ...
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K-State: Rising Temps Will Disproportionately Affect Kansas Farmers As the climate warms, growing corn and soybeans will become an increasingly risky venture for Kansas farmers, according to a recent study by K-State . The study found that drought and heat are currently the biggest reason for crop yield losses and expect that these losses will become more common because of climate change. The study found that if temperatures rise another 1 degree Celsius or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, risks to crop yields will increase by 32% for corn and 11% for soybeans. Three K-State agricultural economists conducted the study that looked at weather data and “Cause of Loss” ...
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For this Member Spotlight, we're highlighting Chase Sullivan, AFM. Chase is a member of the Indiana Chapter of the ASFMRA and currently works for Farmers National Company. We want to congratulate Chase for recently completing his Farm Manager accreditation alongside a number of his colleagues at Farmers National Company. When did you begin your career in agriculture? Why? I began my career in agriculture in 2013 upon graduating with a management degree from Purdue University. I grew up on a swine and grain farm in East Central Indiana, so my passion for the industry started at a very young age. I knew I wanted to stay involved throughout my lifetime as well. ...
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Search Underway for Murder Hornets as They Near "Slaughter Phase" Agricultural officials in Washington state said Friday they are trying to find and destroy a nest of Asian giant hornets — also known as murder hornets — amid concerns they could kill honey bees crucial for pollinating raspberry and blueberry crops. Evidence of six of the hornets were found over the last week near the town of Blaine in Whatcom County, the Washington state Department of Agriculture told reporters. The number of hornets found — nearly double the previous number discovered in the state — would indicate a nest has been established in the area, the agency said. One of the hornets ...
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Don't Expect Large Downturn in Cash Rent Price rallies for corn and soybeans in late August and early September improved the picture for 2020 actual crop budgets, and refocused what’s expected in 2021 for a farm with average land and a 50-50 corn-soybean rotation. However, they didn’t change the fundamentals. Net return to land will remain well below average cash rent for both 2020 and 2021. That’s the conclusion Purdue University Extension agricultural economists Jim Mintert and Michael Langemeier reached after reviewing USDA’s latest report related to corn and soybean stocks, issued Sept. 11. Mintert is director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, ...
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We're happy to feature Barbara Hegerfeld from the South Dakota Chapter of the ASFMRA for this Member Spotlight. Ms. Hegerfeld works as an appraiser for Rabo Agrifinance in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. When did you begin your career in agriculture? Why? Growing up in rural South Dakota, I’ve been surrounded by agriculture my entire life. Although a career in the ag field, let alone as an appraiser, was never something I really considered. I received two bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Management at NSU, and an MBA from USF. I had big plans! Although, I wasn’t really sure what they were! While working at Daktronics as an International Sales and Marketing ...
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Farm Cash Receipts May Hit New Low in 2020 Following a sharp downturn in many commodity prices as a result of COVID-19, USDA’s most recent Farm Income Forecast, released Sept. 2, projects cash receipts from the sales of crops and livestock will decline by $12 billion, or 3%, from 2019 to $358 billion. If realized, U.S. farm cash receipts will be at the lowest level in more than a decade, and $18 billion below the 10-year average of $376 billion. Largely through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and the Paycheck Protection Program, Congress and the administration have provided a projected $23.4 billion to help farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID-19. ...
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In a year where so much has changed, it’s nice to see one thing that hasn’t: rural land values. “Steady is kind of the story on good land,” said Dennis Reyman, AFM, ARA, and incoming President-Elect of the ASFMRA during a recent panel discussion on land prices in the COVID era. Reyman was referring to his experience in Iowa, where he lives and works, but this observation was shared by the other panelists, including Ray Brownfield, AFM, out of Oswego, IL, and Matt Marschall, ARA, from California.  One of the bigger factors affecting prices seems to be the general rule of supply and demand. All three panelists noted that there just hasn't been very much quality ...
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Bring Legal Descriptions to Life The metes and bounds system is nearly as old as land ownership itself, with evidence of it existing from as far back as Ptolemaic Egypt and the Roman Republic. In the United States, the fingerprints for this method of surveying property can be most easily found in the states that were once the 13 original colonies. This system, which utilizes the completely subjective interpretation of natural features and markers by a land surveyor, is by no means new, but it’s also not going away anytime soon, either. Back in the day, when surveyors lacked sophisticated measuring systems and mapping tools, metes and bounds was a reliable ...
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