The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 40 years.
The general media is spending more time talking about high farmland prices. Part of it is a result of all the media attention on Iowa due to the recent caucus coupled with the sale last November of 74 acres near Hull, Iowa, that brought $20,000 an acre. (Click here for story.) Result: National media attention. The old market watcher in me says that when the national media finds a market story, the move is nearly over.
I don't know if that's the case here. But this sure makes me nervous.
Here's the most recent example. It's a report on NBC's evening news magazine, Rock Center. The seven-plus minute report is titled "Field$ of Dream$." That name alone gives me pause.
Watch the 7-minute clip.
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I am nervous as hell. I will not ride down another drop in farmland values that occurred between 1981 to 1986. Although this time period allowed me to start buying High-Quality Iowa farmland in 1986 for $1,000/acre and I eventually bought more than 2,000 acres of Iowa farmland between 1986 to 1989, if the warning flags start to appear again as they did in 1979-1981, I am selling everything and moving to Florida.
I am nervous also. Consider the risk of weather patterns shifts resulting in consecutive years of droughts/floods. The dirt could be worthless.