Posted by Steve Bruere | Published April 17, 2017
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.
A new guide highlights the advice of Iowa farmers with an emphasis on communication and teamwork as integral parts of the succession planning process. “Your Farmland and the Future: Setting Goals, Taking Action,” authored by Teresa Opheim with Practical Farmers of Iowa and released in March by Peoples Company, tackles topics from estate planning and power of attorney to life insurance, conservation, land gifting and beginning farmers. Iowa State University has estimated that 56 percent of Iowa farmland is owned by persons age 65 or older. The smart money with regards to estate planning is on starting early and never going it alone. Wallaces Farmer reports. Read more.
Successful Farming at Agriculture.com covers economic professor Bruce Sherrick’s “Top 10” things you should know about agricultural real estate. With thoughts on soil health, commodity prices, government programs, big data and the 1980s farm crisis, Sherrick reminds readers that land values are down, but not crashing. Read more.
Farmland values in Iowa rose 1 percent higher the past six months, marking the first increase since September 2013. The Des Moines Register reports that the increase could be a sign that the ag economy could be close to bottoming out. Farmland values, from September 2016 to March 2017, climbed 0.9 percent to $6,545 per acre. Read more.
A medical doctor and former bank vice president have teamed up to ease the process of accessing capital for a certified organic food farm. Miller, noting that more than 70 percent of his private-equity firm’s farmers are millennials, said many younger farmers are in search of funding sources. On January 1, a group of 10 original investors converted their limited-liability company and began offering what they say is the first organic family farm REIT in the United States. Crain’s Chicago reports the Iroquois Valley Farms group now comprises some 250 investors from 34 states and Canada and Great Britain. Read more.
$100 Bill ion Question
An opinion piece published by the Thomas Reuters Foundation asserts that it would be incorrect to assume investors’ interest in agriculture, which skyrocketed during the run up of commodity prices, has vanished in today’s market. Real food prices are still higher than in the early 2000s, when they reached a record low. Furthermore, the FAO and other agencies have estimated that more than $100 billion of additional investment will be needed every year to eliminate hunger by 2030. Read more.
Officials in California declared an end to the state’s historic five-year drought, but intense weather swings could have profound implications in the generations to come. The Los Angeles Times reports that this past winter was one of the wettest for California’s northern Sierra Nevada with records going back almost 100 years. At the same time, the Associated Press reports that the counties of Kings, Fresno, Tulare and Tuolumne are still experiencing drought-emergency conditions in the nation’s most populous state. Read more.
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