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March 2009 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.

Nebraska Survey Finds Land Values Have Plateaued

Mar 30, 2009
Mike Walsten

Nebraska land values are unchanged from a year earlier, according to preliminary results of the annual survey conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The survey, supervised by UNL agricultural economist Bruce Johnson, pegged the value of an acre of Nebraska farmland at $1,424 an acre as of February 1, 2009. That figure is unchanged from a year earlier. While the overall figure is unchanged, the path reaching that result was marked by a strong surge in values for the first nine months of the year followed by declines during the final months of the survey, Johnson indicates.

Johnson says dryland cropland and grazing land values declined slightly for the year while the value of irrigated land posted slight gains. He indicates the impacts of recent irrigation moratoriums could be seen in declines in values for dryland cropland with irrigation potential.

Distinct Differences. The survey reported decreases of 3% and 2.5% in the East and Northeast crop districts while the South and Southwest districts recorded overall gains of 8.2% and 6.4%, respectively. The East and Northeast districts experienced some of the strongest percentage gains in recent years, "so the cooling effects of recent months are still very slight," he explains. He points out the South and Southwest districts had experienced much lower run-ups in values over the past several years, largely due to multi-year drought conditions and substantial irrigation water restrictions. "So with better moisture conditions in 2008 and unusually strong commodity prices, these regions have experienced relatively stronger bidding in recent months," he states.

I will cover more details of the survey in the April 14 issue of LandOwner newsletter. If interested in seeing a copy, just drop me an email at landowner@profarmer.com or call me at 800-772-0023.

 

 

Illinois Survey Finds Declines of 5% to Gains of 20%

Mar 23, 2009

Mike Walsten

Land values in Illinois ranged from a decline of 5% to a gain of 20% in 2008, according to the annual survey conducted by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ISPFMRA). The survey found the value of excellent quality farmland located in the central part of the state rose 15% by year end; good quality central Illinois land rose 13%; average quality land ranged from 0% to 12% higher and recreational land located in the central section of the state remained unchanged from 2007.

The bulk of survey respondents expect land values will remain stable or decline slightly in 2009. The group was split about evenly in opinion when looking ahead to 2010 with about a third expecting lower values, a third expecting stable values and a third looking for higher land values.

I will cover more details of the survey in the March 24 issue of LandOwner newsletter. If interested in seeing a copy, just drop me an email at landowner@profarmer.com or call me at 800-772-0023.

Iowa Survey: Land Values Decline 7.6% Since September

Mar 10, 2009

Mike Walsten

The value of an acre of Iowa farmland fell by 7.6% during the six-month period ending March 1. That's according to the most recent survey of Iowa farmland values conducted by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter #2 of the REALTORS Land Institute (RLI). "This is the first decrease shown by our survey since September 1999," said Troy Louwagie, Hertz Real Estate Services, Mt. Vernon, who leads the twice-a-year survey for the RLI.

In September, the RLI survey reported a 6.6% increase in land values for the March-to-September period. Combining the 7.6% decrease with the 6.6% increase reported in September 2008 indicates a statewide average decrease of 1.0% for the year from March 1, 2008 to March 1, 2009," said Louwagie.

All nine Iowa crop reporting districts showed a decrease, the survey said. These district declines varied from a 2.5% decrease in Southeast Iowa to a 14% decrease in West Central Iowa for the September 2008 to March 2009 period.

The Iowa RLI has conducted the March and September farmland surveys since 1978.

I will cover more details of the survey in the March 12 issue of LandOwner newsletter. If interested in seeing a copy, just drop me an email at landowner@profarmer.com or call me at 800-772-0023.

 

 

Jim Rogers Is Buying Farmland

Mar 09, 2009

Mike Walsten

Noted commodity bull Jim Rogers is buying farmland. Rogers' 2004 book "Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably In The World's Best Market" called for a massive run-up of commodity prices the first two decades of this century. Despite the recent setback in commodity prices, he still remains a bull and sees opportunity in owning farmland.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Rogers said: "We're still going to eat, probably; we're still going to wear clothes, probably. Farmers cannot get loans for fertilizers right now. So the supplies of everything are going to continue to be under pressure." Rogers said he is the director of two funds which are buying virgin land in Brazil and existing farms in Canada with the intention of farming the land. "If I'm right, agriculture is going to be one of the greatest industries in the next 20 years, 30 years," he said.

You can see the CNBC interview by clicking here.

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

 

 

Huge Auction Tests North Dakota Market

Mar 05, 2009

Mike Walsten

The March 3 sale of more than 16,000 acres in northwest Stutsman County, in south-central North Dakota, proved a huge test for the area's land market. And it appears the market passed the test. The sale of 16,626 acres amassed by Walter Holzworth drew more than 500 people to the Jamestown Civic Center, reports James MacPherson of the Associated Press. The land, sold in 39 parcels, brought more than $10 million, he reports. That's somewhere north of $600 an acre. The land was sold to settle Holzworth's estate, who died in November 2007.

Ken Dalsted, an attorney for the estate, told the Associated Press Holzworth died without a will, despite prompting from familiy, attorneys, bankers and accountants to write a will. Dalsted said the land was sold to about 15 different buyers. "It exceeded our appraised value, so it shows that the economy is alive and well in North Dakota, or at least here in Stutsman County," Dalsted told MacPherson.

For more of this story, please click here.

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

 

 

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