Land Investment Monthly – February 2015

Published on Feb 24, 2015

The Land Investment Monthly is a round-up of articles and headlines published by the farm press, business media and financial publications with insights into buying, selling or investing in farmland, recreational ground or development ground. Follow Steve Bruere @SBruere on Twitter and find Peoples Company on Facebook for the latest land listings, auction results, upcoming events and real estate news. To subscribe to my monthly updates via email, send a message to Steve@PeoplesCompany.com with “Land Investment Monthly” in the subject line.

All Business
Des Moines Register Business Reporter Donnelle Eller presents a report covering diverse views shared from the main stage of the 2015 Land Investment Expo with Dennis Gartman’s outlook on oil, Jim Knuth’s take on ag real estate values, and Donald Trump’s thoughts on investing in Iowa farmland.
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Land Expo Q&A
A play-by-play of Land Investment Expo moderator Ken Root’s sit-down Q&A with Donald Trump at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel in January 2015. Jeannine Otto, AgriNews Field Editor, reports on the billionaire real estate investor, developer and builder, author and celebrity.
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Dealing Dirt
Jeffrey Obrecht, Peoples Company’s “Dirt Dealer,” poses a question and challenges land professionals to consider the power of practicality along with honest, no-obligation consultations in modern times. Land auction or private treaty? “For some of us, it means getting the rust out and trying to remember how we used to sell farms,” he said.
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Raw Deal
The Real Estate Radio Guys, Robert Helm and Russell Gray, engage me and 2015 Land Expo speaker Dennis Gartman for a “Dirt to Dollars” article and interview that presents a view of agricultural real estate as a long-term investment that cash flows. Scroll to the bottom of the article and press play to “Listen Now.”
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Common Ground
Institutional Investor reports on a growing hunger for real assets and income-producing agricultural properties, such as farmland and commodities, among concerns over inflation. The article covers the recent activities of three land funds – Equilibrium Capital, ACM Permanent Crop Fund and Washington State Investment Board – with 60 percent of respondents to a BlackRock survey reportedly planning to allocate at least one type of real asset over the next 18 months.
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Ag Credit
Agriculture.com reports on an increase in borrowing, primarily for farm operating expenses, following a slowdown in capital expenditures and amid a decline in grain prices. Multimedia Editor Jeff Caldwell’s article suggests that the ag lending industry is on solid ground. Survey respondents in all Federal Reserve Districts, including Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City, had indicated the majority of producers were keeping up on their bills, and only a slight uptick in collateral requirements was reported. The Kansas City Fed’s Nathan Kauffman said profit margins in the farm sector could play a major role in determining whether “agricultural credit conditions improve or worsen in the coming year.”
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Socially Responsible Land Investing

Sustainable Momentum
Yield-boosting genetics and production technologies will be required to keep up with global demands for corn and soybeans as more farmland is annexed into urban areas. The EPA estimates that 29 million acres of U.S. farmland were lost between 2000 and 2012. The Motley Fools covers Monsanto, which is developing new platforms that will allow for fewer inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, at the same time increasing efficiency and helping to encouraging higher yields in more sustainable environments. “Sure enough, it also ensures that individual investors will continue to see market-beating returns,” reports Maxx Chatsko. “It’s a win-win-win.”
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Self-Directed IRAs
The tangible feel of hard assets are driving buyers to consider the benefit of using IRAs for real estateinvestments. Self-directed IRAs, allowing for an investment in real estate such as farmland, is permissible by law given that a custodian is in place to hold the assets for the IRA owner. Click below to read more in article published by U.S. News and World Report. Click here to view a Peoples Company YouTube webinar presentation of “Land Investment Opportunities in Your Self-Directed IRA.”
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Almond Water
The production of almonds in the California’s western Fresno County has doubled since 2005, and statewide the market value of almond reached $4.8 billion in 2012. Matt Black’s first-person account of this “white-hot” global commodity reflects his astonishment with the nut – which requires greater quantities of water to produce than corn or soybeans – through the lens of California’s worst drought in decades.
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Friendly Skies
New and ag friendly rules proposed for the commercial use of drone technology could lead to greater adoption and increases in productivity for farm producers, land appraisers and real estate professionals. The Des Moines Register, with attribution to Peoples Company drone operator Alan McNeil, takes a fresh look at FAA’s proposal and opportunities to drive greater efficiency and innovation in Iowa’s ag, real estate and tech fields.
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Interesting Land
Gene Lucht of Iowa Farmer Today digs in with his coverage of the 2015 Land Expo, including the comments of Lafayette College economist Edmund Siefried, who said those interested in land may want to consider a purchase now as interest rates could rise in the next year or two. Questions surrounding oil, land values and appreciation are each explored in this comprehensive report.
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