Land Investment Monthly – June 2015

Published on Jun 15, 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.

Controversial Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued the finalized version of its Waters of the U.S. rule with regulations set to become effective in fewer than 60 days. The controversial rule, which has for months been up for discussion and debate in the agricultural community, is summed up on a 290-page document that the EPA has said is a clarification of current law, as opposed to an expansion of current powers. American Ag Radio Network reports.
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Rents, Revenues
An analysis of cash rents in Minnesota corn and soybean production considers the “good and bad news on land values.” The Farm CPA Paul Neiffer points to trends associated with the net present value ofcorn/soybean land revenues, which is about 10 times higher than they were in the early 2000s, in light of the value that a farmer is willing to pay.
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Private Label
CNBC reports on the private equity flowing into organic farms against the backdrop of the farm-to-table movement. The article considers the roles off technology, marketing and education as they relate to community supported agriculture and new generation of entrepreneurial-minded farm owners.
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Stated Values
A new study, estimating that the combined value of all land in the contiguous United States is worth about $23 trillion, considers four different property types: agricultural areas, federal land, and developed suburban and urban areas. 24/7 Wall St. used the data to compile a list of the most valuable and least valuable states, based on land prices, and including comparisons of states with large rural areas and those comprising large centers of urban development.
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Policy Cap
The “policy capitalization” of farm program payments, which provide a safety net for America’s farm sector by reducing income variability or increasing per-acre returns, is a well-documented phenomenon. The Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign examines a unique dataset to explore the influence of direct payments, and suggests that an additional dollar of direct payments is associated with an $18 per acre increase in U.S. cropland values.
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Delta Days
The drop in grain prices is having less of an impact on farmland values in Mississippi, compared with the Midwest, though the state average of $4,339-per-acre is lower then what irrigated land brings in states such as Iowa and Illinois. An assistant Extension professor and graduate student at Mississippi State University have produced a survey to determine current trends in land values, cash rents and lending conditions in the southeastern region.
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Nebraska Bill
Nebraska landowners who are interested in attracting tourists and opening a potential source of revenue from recreational activities hosted on their properties could find cover under a bill that is advancing in the state legislature. With a focus on sites such as working farms and ranches, lakes, and hunting ground, the bill would help to shield landowners in the event of injuries caused by an “inherent risk” of the land. Insurance Journal reports that the bill – sent to the Natural Resources Committee – has gained support from farming, ranch and tourism groups, as well as the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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Digging Deep
Farmers in California are drilling wells at an exponential pace as neighboring properties compete for enough water to irrigate crops during the state’s historic drought. The New York Times compares H2O to gold in a piece that for farm producers is all about survival as “everybody is pulling water out of the ground.”
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