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November 2012 Archive for Your Precious Land

RSS By: Mike Walsten, Pro Farmer

Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 40 years.

Survey Finds 5% Rise in Mid-South Farmland Values

Nov 20, 2012

Mike Walsten

Farmland values in the Mid-South rose 5.2% from a year earlier, according to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The bank serves the St. Louis to Louisville to Memphis to Little Rock area. In just its second survey of district ag bankers, the Fed bank found the average value of quality farmland within the district averages $4,886 an acre while an acre of ranchland average $2,345. In addition, a majority of survey respondents said they expected farmland values would rise during the fourth quarter of 2012. On a sub-regional basis, the bank pegs the average value of quality farmland in its St. Louis sub-region at $6,003 an acre, at $2,807 an acre in its Little Rock, Ark., sub-region, at $4,138 an acre in its Louisville sub-region and $3,082 an acre in its Memphis sub-region.

The survey found district farm income and capital spending were down significantly in the third quarter relative to a year-ago due to the drought. But there was some disparity across the district, the bank says.. The St Louis sub-region showed the largest drop off from a year ago, while bankers in the Little Rock and Louisville sub-regions also reported a decline. By contrast, bankers in the Memphis sub-region reported both higher income and capital spending relative to a year ago. These sub-region differences mirror crop production patterns as the drought sharply reduced crop output in the St. Louis sub-region while crop yields were positive in the Memphis region.

If interested in seeing a copy of LandOwner, just drop me an email at or call 800-772-0023.

Surveys Find Midwest Farmland Values Continue to Rise

Nov 15, 2012

Mike Walsten

Farmland values from Oklahoma to Indiana continued to rise during the third quarter of 2012, reports the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and Kansas City. The banks quarterly surveys found the value of Kansas City district cropland rose 3% and ranchland rose 2% compared to the previous quarter. On an annual basis, dryland cropland rose 24%, irrigated cropland gained 22% and ranchland rose 14%. Nebraska reported the strongest annual increase in the value of dryland cropland, up 30%. Kansas listed the strongest annual gain on the value of irrigated cropland, up 25%, and the value of ranchland, up 17%. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City serves Kansas, northwest Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and the Mountain States of Colorado, northern New Mexico and Wyoming.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's survey found good agricultural land rose 13% on an annual basis and 5% when compared to the second quarter of 2012. Iowa continues to lead the pace with an 18% annual rise and a 6% boost in the quarter compared to the second quarter of 2012. Illinois reports a 15% annual increase and a 1% rise versus the previous quarter. Indiana bankers list an 11% annual gain while Michigan and Wisconsin reports increases of 7% and 8%, respectively. The Chicago district covers the northern two-thirds of Illinois and Indiana, all of Iowa, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and southeastern Wisconsin.

If interested in seeing a copy of LandOwner, just drop me an email at or call 800-772-0023.

Texas Irrigated Cropland Rises 13% Over Year Ago

Nov 13, 2012

Mike Walsten

The value of Texas cropland rose 3% to 13% versus a year earlier with irrigated cropland posting the strongest gain, according to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The survey of ag bankers found the value of irrigated cropland rose 4% compared the second quarter of 2012 and increased nearly 13% when compared to the previous year. Non-irrigated cropland rose, but not at as strong a pace. Dryland cropland gained nearly 2% versus the previous quarter and rose slight more than 3% through the third quarter of 2012 when compared to a year earlier.

The value of ranchland was essentially unchanged versus a year earlier. The survey pegged the annual increase at the end of the third quarter of 2012 at a narrow 0.7% while the change versus the second quarter of 2012 was a decline of 1.3%.

The majority of survey respondents expect land values will hold steady through the fourth quarter of 2012 while 18% anticipate an increase in farmland values. That's the highest percentage share to anticipate a rise during the upcoming quarter since early 2011, the bank said.

Click here for the full report.

Send me an email if interested in seeing a copy of my newsletter, LandOwner.


Magazine Names Largest USA LandOwners

Nov 08, 2012

Mike Walsten

For the second year in a row, John Malone, founder and chairman of Libery Media, is the nation's largest landowner, according to the monthly The Land Report Magazine. The magazine's annual round-up states Malone owns 2.2 million acres, which puts him just ahead of Ted Turner who owns 2 million acres. Malone moved into the number one spot with his purchase of 1 million acres of timber in Maine and New Hampshire. Prior to that purchase, he jumped into the land-buying headlines with his purchase of the famous Bell Ranch, a 290,100-acre operation in New Mexico dating to the 1824 Montoya Land Grant.

Click here for an entertaining read about John Malone and his land holdings written by Jeff Hull and published in Fortune Magazine.

Annual Land Report is now available. For more information, click here.

If interested in seeing a copy of LandOwner, just drop me an email at or call 800-772-0023.

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