June 27 2017

Weekly AgNews - June 27, 2017

Land Market Still Holding Steady

The Iowa farmland market continues to move sideways. This is a change in direction from the downward trend that started in spring 2013. The strongest values within the market continue to be for high-quality farms (those with excellent soils, productivity and drainage), as well as for farms adjacent to strong farmland owners.

Sales activity has declined slightly each year for the past five years. Landowners and investors have shown the most interest in purchasing land. An increase in interest has been observed in nonfarming landowners. The stabilization in farmland market prices and an increase in interest from investors are in reaction to a search for solid investments, low-interest rates and a general belief that farmland is a tangible asset and sound investment.

These positive factors are countered by interest rates that are beginning to increase and commodity prices that have eased down from earlier this year. For owners concerned about farmland values dropping, it may be time to consider selling.

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Trump Rides High into Iowa Stop After Congressional Wins

CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. – President Donald Trump celebrated political victories and promised more to come as he returned to Iowa Wednesday for a whirlwind tour through the state’s second-largest city.

The president’s first visit to the state since taking office featured an official event in which he praised Iowa agriculture and pledged to boost rural high speed internet followed by an exuberant primetime rally that mirrored his 2016 campaign events in showmanship and rhetoric.

In a visit to Kirkwood Community College, Trump stood between John Deere and Case IH farm machinery to pledge his administration’s commitment to boosting agriculture exports, loosening federal regulations and supporting ethanol and biofuels.

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Trump Administration Calls for Overhaul of Wall Street Rules

The Trump administration laid out its highly anticipated plan for overhauling bank rules, calling on the government to ease, though not eliminate, many of the strictures that were imposed on Wall Street after the financial crisis.

The changes, outlined in a report released Monday evening by the Treasury Department, urge federal agencies to re-write scores of regulations that bankers have frequently complained about in the seven years since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. They include adjusting the annual stress tests that assess whether lenders can endure economic downturns, loosening some trading rules and paring back the powers of the watchdog that polices consumer finance.

The Treasury said its plan was designed to spur lending and job growth by making regulation “more efficient” and less burdensome. Unlike the bill passed last week by House Republicans, the report consistently calls for most Obama-era rules to be dialed back, not scrapped.

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Minnesota’s Corn Crop Nearly Twice as Good as Indiana’s, USDA Says

DES MOINES, Iowa — The U.S. corn crop rating is just holding steady, with lower top-end state grades and lower low-end ratings.

In other words, the good crops still have a ways to go, while the weak crops grade out fairly low vs. a year ago.

As of Sunday, 67% of the U.S. corn crop had been rated good/excellent, unchanged from a week ago and well under a rating last year at this time of 75%, according to the USDA Crop Progress Report Monday.

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Washington Week in Review, June 22, 2017: Trump Goes to Iowa, Budget Picture Unfolding

President Donald Trump delivered remarks in Iowa that contained some agricultural nuggets, and Congress is signaling some potentially big cuts to ag spending. Agri-Pulse’s Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase have more.


Joint Statement of Secretary Perdue (U.S.), Minister Lawrence MacAulay (Canada) & Secretary Calzada (Mexico) Regarding Trilateral Agriculture Meetings in Savannah, Georgia

SAVANNAH, GA, June 20, 2017 – Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay; Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Jose Calzada; and United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement at the conclusion of their first trilateral meetings in Savannah, GA, June 19-20, 2017.

Read the Release 

USDA Grants CRP Emergency Grazing in ND, SD, MT

US Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has authorized emergency grazing for CRP lands in South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana.

Severe and extreme drought conditions have reduced forage for livestock and Perdue says in some of the hardest-hit areas, herds are already being culled.

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Deploy a Drone to Scout Fields and More

With so many farmers having to deal with such a wet spring, drones have been an efficient way to identify areas that needed to be replanted and even ones that can’t be replanted. A drone is also a great tool to help identify weather-related damage without adding compaction to fields.

“The advantage of using a drone is that each picture is georeferenced, which allows a farmer to get accurate measurements for his claims adjuster with scientific evidence to back up that claim,” says Landon Smith, PrecisionHawk.

As you scout your fields this season, Smith says utilizing a drone can help you stay on top of potential issues.

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How to Ensure Big Data Brings Value to Farmers

Agriculture data has been a big disappointment for the majority of farmers, particularly in the US. Indeed, digital ag technologies as a whole have faced a number of serious challenges such as a lack of data interpretation; multiple, disconnected data sources; and an inability to connect data to agricultural machinery. Correspondingly, there was a noted decrease in the total investment in the agtech sector in 2016, according to AgFunder, which the Wall Street Journal recently cited in its article “Why Big Data Hasn’t Yet Made a Dent on Farms.”

Despite these challenges and concerns, we are still positive about the potential for data to transform the agriculture industry and below we offer some thoughts on how to address the problem of low adoption rates of digital technologies in agriculture.

5 Ways to Make Data More Valuable

ASFMRA Hosts Yellow Book Course in Denver

Over 75 members and prospective members attended the Yellow Book course that was offered in Denver, Colorado in conjunction with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). Prior to the Yellow Book course offering, ASFMRA in conjunction with ASA and The Appraisal Foundation (TAF), held an all-day panel discussion on Appraising for Federal Transactions which provided insight into major changes and features of the new Yellow Book, how to become a contract appraiser for the federal government as well as the federal agency appraisal review process, which included a session on common errors and weaknesses. If you missed the Yellow Book class in Denver, ASFMRA will be offering Yellow Book at Summer Education Week (SEW) in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Welcome New Members

 Thank you for being a part of ASFMRA! Help ASFMRA welcome our new members and thank them for choosing the Society as the organization that they desire to be affiliated with. ASFMRA continues to support rural property professionals and offers services, resources and education which will be of benefit to all of our members, both professionally and personally.

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
David Abraham with Colliers International Valuation & Advisory Svcs, LLC in Sylvania, OH (Ohio Chapter)
Dalton Bigham in Du Quoin, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Brady Bond with Farm Credit of Enid in Garber, OK (Oklahoma Chapter)
Emily Costa with American AgCredit with Stockton, CA (California Chapter)
Daniel Domino in Brooklyn, NY (AR, CO, Northeast, and TX Chapters)
Gregory Duff with Agricultural Appraiser Equipment and Livestock in Eugene, OR (Oregon Chapter)
David Francis with Greenstone Farm Credit Services in Mount Pleasant, MI (Michigan Chapter)
Cody Kohn with Upper Midwest Management Corp in New Ulm, MN (Minnesota Chapter)
Rezwanul Parvez in Fargo, ND (North Dakota Chapter)
Adam Rine with Farm Credit Mid-America in Utica, OH (Ohio Chapter)
Kevin Seeger with American Agcredit in Merced, CA (California Chapter)
Brian Thomas in Berlin, CT (Northeast Chapter)
Jeremiah Unger with BROPHY Realty/Big Iron Auctions in Yuma, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Crystal Weber with US Trust, Bank of America, N.A. in Kansas City, MO (Kansas Chapter)
Justin Wheeler with Soy Capital Ag Services in Decatur, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Logan Woodward in Gering, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Jonalyn Young with Rabobank, N.A. in Fresno, CA (California 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. Pass that benefit on to others that you know who would benefit from membership with The Most Trusted rural property professional organization – ASFMRA! 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!

Robert Burns, ARA
Duane Fovargue
Carol Haygood, ARA
Cara Penley
Dennis Schmidt, AFM
Brian Thompson, AFM, ARA
John Voris, ARA

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

Donate to the Education Foundation Today

Have you benefited from the education provided by ASFMRA? Have you increased your clientele? Have you increased your networking community? Help ASFMRA and the Education Foundation continue to be able to provide services that assist you in these areas and more. The Education Foundation spends development dollars to keep ASFMRA education on the cutting edge, top in the field. Course material has been updated and edited such as A102. There has also been new course development such as the A600 course.

With support from the members, Chapters, companies, and sponsors, the Education Foundation (a non-profit organization) develops educational programs for professional advancement. Informative programs to increase awareness of the role agricultural consultants, rural appraisers, farm managers, and review appraisers have in agriculture, rural economy, and public policy is also provided by the Foundation. You can make your tax-deductible contribution to the Education Foundation by one or a combination of the following:

  • Donate an item or two to the 2017 Education Foundation Auction (Donation Form)
  • Include a donation along with your dues invoice in any amount that you would like.
  • Make a monthly gift, annual gift, semi-annual gift, or consider an Endowment.
  • Encourage your Chapters to make a donation.
  • Make a donation in Memory of or in Honor of a deceased fellow member.
  • Make a donation at any time throughout the year – don’t forget that last minute donation at the end of the year.
These types of donations can be a great way to show your support the Education Foundation that has been beneficial to so many. Any expression of support is greatly appreciated, and as you know, your contribution is tax-deductible. Thank you!

Testified in Court? What You Need to Know

If you recently testified in court on opposing sides of another ASFMRA member, according to the ASFMRA Code of Ethics, Article 14, “All Society members who testify as an expert and give an opinion before a tribunal where another member testifies for the opposing party are required to file a case report with the Society office within 30 days after date of testimony. A tribunal is a body or individual who renders a final decision. Depositions are not final decisions.”

Regardless of your membership classification or specialty, this applies to all ASFMRA members. As noted by the ASFMRA Executive Vice President, “One of the advantages of belonging to a great professional Society like ours is this exact process. By submitting the testimony, we are policing ourselves to ensure ASMFRA members are delivering the highest quality and most ethical reviews and appraisals. “Most Trusted” is not just a tagline.”

If you find yourself testifying in court on opposing sides of another ASFMRA member, simply complete the Appraisal Review Case Report form and return it to Hope Evans with any additional information you wish to provide as indicated in Note 2 on the form. Please indicate on the envelope it is ‘Confidential’ and include Hope Evans’ name then it will be delivered directly to her unopened. Thank you to all ASFMRA members for making the Society one of the elite organizations in the agricultural profession. 

40 and 50 Year Memberships and Silver Plow Award Recipients to be Recognized

ASFMRA recognizes several milestones in membership and this year, we are pleased to announce we will be recognizing thirty-two members for their 40 years of membership, two members for their 50 years of membership, and three members for their ten years of service as Chapter Secretary of ASFMRA.

Join us at this year’s Annual Conference during a special Accreditation and Awards Presentation on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 3:30 – 5:30 pm where the following will be honored. The forty and fifty year members will be honored for the principles they established, goals they set, and work they have done for those years which are the foundation for ASFMRA’s success and high standing today. The Silver Plow Award is award to those Chapter Secretaries for the service that they have provided to their Chapter as well as the National ASFMRA for those ten years. Come join us in honoring these outstanding members!

40 Year Members

Name Join Date
Gary Thien, AFM, ARA 1/12/1977
Stephen L. Elsberry, ARA 1/12/1977
Phyllis L. Sethre 2/15/1977
Richard K. Isaacson, AFM, ARA 3/19/1977
Jerry A. Warner, AFM-Retired 8/15/1977
Thomas F. Kelley, ARA 8/15/1977
Charles E. Knudson, ARA, RPRA 8/15/1977
James L. Paulson 8/15/1977
Timothy H. Webb, ARA 8/30/1977
Dan Childs, AFM 8/30/1977
Richard A. Nesbitt 8/30/1977
Douglas W. Fehr, AFM 9/21/1977
Thomas R. Coultas, AAC-Retired 9/22/1977
Kenneth E. Brush, ARA 9/29/1977
Paul E. Bierschwale, ARA 9/30/1977
Patrick D. Leary, AFM-Retired 9/30/1977
Martin K. Olson, ARA, RPRA 10/4/1977
Deon R. Herndon, ARA 10/4/1977
Dick L. Coffman, AFM, ARA 10/12/1977
Daniel W. Moehring 10/12/1977
Robert M. Burns, ARA 11/9/1977
Michael S. Hall, ARA 11/22/1977
Gary J. Grave 11/29/1977
Dan G. Cribben, AFM, ARA 11/29/1977
Charles N. Sponhauer, ARA 11/29/1977
Mark E. Wetzel, AFM 12/1/1977
Rex E. Wilcox, AFM 12/1/1977
Gordon L. Bergthold 12/1/1977
Ronnie L. Schultz, AFM-Retired 12/1/1977
Aaron J. Donaldson, ARA-Retired 12/1/1977
Dee B. Carmichael 12/15/1977
Billy D. Snow, ARA 12/30/1977

50 Year Members

Name Join Date
James D. Cannon, ARA 4/5/1967
Lowell E. Akers, AFM, ARA 11/26/1967

Silver Plow Award – 10 Year Service

Name Chapter Service as Secretary
Edward E. Lumpee Colorado 2007-2017
Ray Bartholomew Kansas 2007-2017
Stephen Motsinger North Carolina 2007-2017

In Memory

Phillip Cook
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
ASFMRA was honored and pleased to welcome Phillip R. Cook into the association in 2014. Phil maintained his Associate membership. He belonged to both the Illinois and Wisconsin Chapters. ASFMRA has just learned that Phil passed away. He made many friends through his membership with the Society who will miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.