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February 2010 Archive for Your Precious Land

RSS By: Mike Walsten, Pro Farmer

Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 35 years.

Farmland Values Rise Across Central Corn Belt

Feb 25, 2010

Mike Walsten

The value of "good" agricultural land rose 2% the fourth quarter of 2009 across the central Corn Belt and lifted values a similar 2% on an annual basis. That's according to the most recent survey of ag credit conditions conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Fed bank serves the northern two-thirds of both Illinois and Indiana, all of Iowa, the lower peninsula of Michigan and the southeastern half of Wisconsin.

According to the survey, cropland finished 2009 2% higher in Illinois, up a strong 7% in Indiana and up 4% in Iowa when compared to a year earlier. However, economic woes continue in Michigan and Wisconsin which reported declines of 6% and 1% on an annual basis, respectively.

Click here for the full report.

The corresponding survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis indicates farmland values firmed in that region as well, but weakness is still evident in ranchland/pasture values and in Wisconsin. That bank serves Minnesota, Montana, the Dakotas, northwestern Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan. The survey found the value of dryland cropland rose a slim 0.2% on an annual basis while irrigated cropland gained 2%. Ranchland, however, fell 4.5%.

Click here for the full report.

I also include more details in my LandOwner newsletter. If interested in seeing a copy of LandOwner, just drop me an email at landowner@profarmer.com or call 800-772-0023.

Farmland Values Continue To Slip in Texas

Feb 25, 2010

Mike Walsten

The correction in land values is not yet over in Texas, according to the most recent survey of ag credit conditions conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The Fed bank, whose region includes all of Texas plus northern Louisana and sourthern New Mexico, surveys ag lenders about credit conditions and farmland values every quarter. Its survey of fourth-quarter conditions found dryland cropland edged down 2% during the quarter when compared to the previous quarter and finished 2009 down 5% compared to 2009. The survey indicated irrigated cropland edged down 1% for the quarter and ended 2009 down 4% on an annual basis. Ranchland slipped a similar 1% for the quarter but posted a 1% increase on an annual basis.

Click here for the full report.

If interested in seeing a copy of the LandOwner newsletter, just drop me an email at landowner@profarmer.com or call 800-772-0023.

Cropland Values Firmed 4th Q 2009 Across Plains

Feb 25, 2010

Mike Walsten

As we've written in LandOwner and here, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City now confirms. In it's latest update of agricultural credit conditions across it's service district, the bank says cropland value strengthened in the fourth quarter of 2009 with rising farm income. The survey of 241 bankers reported that stronger farm incomes due to a harvest rise in crop prices and above-average yields underpinned a rise in nonirrigated and irrigated cropland values. In contrast, anemic profits in the livestock sector placed downward pressure on ranchland values.

The Kansas City Fed Bank serves bankers in Kansas, Nebraska, northwestern Missouri, Oklahoma and the mountain states of Colorado, northern New Mexico and Wyoming.

The survey indicates non-irrigated cropland in Kansas finished 2009 3.1% higher than 2008; Missouri up 3.5%; Nebraska up 1.2%; Oklahoma up 3.8% and the Mountain States down 1.3%. Ranchland values, however, fell 7.3% in Kansas, 2.6% in Missouri, 1.7% in Nebraska and 2.7% in the Mountain States.

Click here for the full report. We will have more details in our February 25 issue LandOwner Newsletter.

If interested in seeing a copy of the LandOwner newsletter, just drop me an email at landowner@profarmer.com or call 800-772-0023.

Lender Sees 1% Decline in Iowa Farmland Values in 2009

Feb 05, 2010

Mike Walsten

Iowa farmland values slipped 1% in 2009, according to Jim Knuth, senior vice president, Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica), Omaha, which serves 74,000 agricultural producers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. FCSAmerica is the largest real estate lender in Iowa.


Using its own staff of appraisers, the lender monitors the value of 67 benchmark farms located in its service area every six months. In addition, it has analyzed more than 33,000 real estate sales in the past five years. That includes 13,750 sales in Iowa alone, Knuth says. In addition, he notes, FCSAmerica handled more than $1.8 billion in real estate transactions in 2009.


According to the lender's most recent update, Knuth says farm real estate values rose 2.3% the last half of 2009 but finished the year down 1%. That figure is very similar to the 2% decline found by the annual Iowa land values survey conducted by Iowa State University (ISU). ISU monitors land values on a November-to-November basis. The FCSAmerica appraisal is based on a Dec. 31 basis.


Meanwhile, the update indicates land values rose 7.5% in Nebraska and 3.3% in South Dakota by year-end. However, land values finished down 5.4% in Wyoming, where weakness in the recreational market is more pronounced.

Click here for the full story, which appeared in the Jan. 27 LandOwner newsletter.

If interested in seeing a copy of the LandOwner newsletter, just drop me an email at landowner@profarmer.com or call (800) 772-0023.

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