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Agricultural Real Estate
You are here:   Blog  »  Agricultural Real Estate


Too Soon To Tell
By Randy Dickhut, Senior Vice President - Real Estate Operations
Monday, March 23, 2020
We have been getting calls and talking with people who are asking how the Covid-19 pandemic and financial market gyrations are affecting land prices. They wonder if there will be a flood of land sold or if prices will drop. Or, those who were contemplating selling ag land might decide to hold onto the land in light of the uncertainties...
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Will They or Won't They Sell?
By Randy Dickhut, Senior Vice President - Real Estate Operations
Monday, March 16, 2020
Will the current events of Coronavirus, lower oil prices, declining stock prices, and a slowing world economy have an affect on the land market and values?
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Short-Term Uncertainties Lend Strength to The Land Market
By Randy Dickhut, Senior Vice President - Real Estate Operations
Monday, March 09, 2020
Between the time this article is written and the point in time when you read it, the uncertainties challenging the world will change. Most markets do not like uncertainty and that is exactly what we have right now.
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The Northern Plains Land Market
The Northern Plains region experienced some of the worst planting conditions anywhere this past season with many unplanted or late planted acres in parts of South Dakota and elsewhere...
The Land Market in the Eastern Cornbelt
Farmland sales have picked up the pace somewhat after a slow start during much of 2019 as additional farms come on the market, a trend that’s especially true for the Eastern Cornbelt where sales activity has been markedly slower the past year or more.
Current Uptick In the Land Market Caused by Optimism and MFP Cash
Sale prices for good quality farmland have shown a slight uptick since the first of the year. Despite the struggles of a late harvest and yields generally below trend lines, farmer and investor buyers are bidding up for good cropland when it comes on the market...
The Land Market in Iowa and Wisconsin
What started out as a slow year in farmland sales has now picked up the pace as additional farms come on the market...
A Look at the Land Market in the Pacific Northwest
"The Pacific Northwest is sitting stagnant in regards to sales and offerings of land at the present time. Dryland prices have not varied much in the past 10 to 15 years. Irrigated land prices have skyrocketed over the past 5 to 10 years but have now plateaued as there have not been many properties change hands" according to Flo Sayre, real estate broker for Farmers National Company.
The Land Market in the Southern Plains
Land sale activity across the southern plains has been quite varied and dependent on location, quality, and use” according to Paul Schadegg, area sales manager for Farmers National Company. “In general, good quality continues to sell while lower quality land struggles.”
Will 2020 Be The Year The Land Market Tumbles?
The land market in 2019 continued the plateau trend of the past several years in which the supply of agricultural land for sale on the market remained lower than average and prices for good quality cropland held mostly steady. Looking ahead to next year...
Demand to Lease and Purchase Recreational Land
There are millions of acres of land in the US that are not suitable for crop production or livestock grazing and are sometimes referred to as recreational land. To some, these acres have little value, but to others, these might be the most enjoyable and ultimately of highest value to the individual.
The Land Market in 2020
A new decade will dawn in a few days and in the midst of continuing uncertainties in agriculture and the world, one of the constants is the importance of land values for producers and landowners as evidenced by the fact that land makes up 82% of the total value of assets in American agriculture...
Recapping the 2019 Land Market
The land market in 2019 continued the plateau trend of the past several years in which the supply of ag land on the market remained lower than average and prices for good quality cropland held fairly steady...
The Up, Down, and All Around Land Market
As we work our way through the fall and early winter farmland sale season in which the volume of auctions, bid sales, and listings picks up, we are seeing a range of results across the areas served by Farmers National Company...
Land As An Investment
Agricultural land in the U.S. totals over 900 million acres and is worth nearly $2.7 trillion dollars. Land is real property that is normally viewed as a long-term asset...
An Active Week in Auctions
Farmers National Company had an active week of auctions in the plains states. The land being sold included high quality cropland in Kansas, combination farms in Nebraska, and grassland in Oklahoma.
Doing Your Due Diligence When Buying Land
As we move towards the post-harvest and winter land buying season, more farmland will be on the market for sale. For buyers, it is extremely important to know what they are purchasing...
2019: A Year That's All Over the Board
As American producers move through harvest this time of year, results will be all over the board ranging from good crops in some areas to many farms with nothing to harvest due to the historically widespread delayed and prevented planting...
Regional Similarities and Differences in the Land Market
When discussing the land market, it is easy to only think of what is transpiring in one region and automatically extrapolate that into other areas. This may work adequately for some land market trends, but not all regions...
Land Sold by Farmers National Company is Up 25%!
Farmers National Company just completed its fiscal year and the amount of land sold by company agents was up 25% compared to last year! Despite a slower land market with less land for sale than normal, Farmers National Company sold more total acres than the past several years.
The Next Six Months in the Land Market
At the end of the real estate presentation during the Farmers National Company Landowner Workshops, we pull out the crystal ball and discuss what might transpire during the next six months in the land market. Of course, no one can predict the future, but...
Highest and Best Use in Valuing Land
Appraisers and other land professionals use "highest and best use" as a guiding principal when valuing agricultural land use. This is affected by the local land market but also by the income generated by the farm or ranch land.
Fall and the Time to Think About Recreational Land
Normally we talk about agricultural land, which encompasses farms and ranches. Fall is the time to concentrate on harvesting crops and getting the last cutting of hay in for a cattle herd. But fall is also the time to talk about recreational land because of the various hunting seasons coming up. Most areas of the country, even the driest Plains, have a little or a lot of recreational land suitable for hunting, building a lake, or a second home. There are areas within most states that have more trees, a more rolling terrain, or otherwise are not suitable for crops or pasture. Therefore, those properties are often referred to as recreational land.
Quality Land is Selling Well
The pre-harvest season is in full swing with the normal increase in auctions and listing sales happening through much of September. Farmers National Company (FNC) land auctions have continued to show that higher quality crop and pasture land sells the best.
Questions in the Land Market Leading into the Fall Sales Season
Fall and early winter are busy seasons for selling agricultural land as it works well to close the sale after harvest and before a new cropping season starts in the spring.
The Acreage Size of Sales Trending Up
In recent years, the size of ag land tracts coming up for sale had been on the smaller side in many areas with 60, 80, up to 160-acre farms being sold. These are common size tracts in the eastern cornbelt, but tract sizes generally get larger as you go west into the plains and ranch country.
The Land Market is Waking Up!
The land market, the buying and selling of land that happens on a daily basis, normally slows down during spring planting and early summer as farmers concentrate on getting their crops up and growing.
The Questions on a Landowner's Mind Right Now and Where to Get Answers
Even though it seems like we just got the 2019 crop into the ground during this historically delayed season, many landowners are starting to think about 2020 and they have the usual questions and then some. Besides late planting in many areas and the fact that 2019 crops are far from being made, landowners are thinking about grain prices, leasing for 2020, and the care of their land. One of the reasons landowners are thinking about next year's leasing is that some states require notice be given to farm operators by September 1 each year if changes are to be made to an existing lease so that it does not carryover into next year under existing terms.
Watching the Financial Health of Ag Producers
One of the concerns at this time in the agricultural land market is the financial health of producers. US agricultural is in its sixth year of a downturn with overall net farm income for 2019 projected to be down 50% from 2013. Working capital has declined almost 75% since 2012 and inflation adjusted farm debt is at the highest levels since the 1980s.
Calls Picking Up Despite Continuing Uncertainties in 2019
In the agricultural land market, sales activity normally slows down during spring planting and early summer. This makes sense as farmers, who are the most prevalent buyers of ag land, are busy with planting and tending the new crops. The normal slowdown in land market activity was evident this spring and was actually slower than usual for many areas due to the extremely late and uncertain planting season.
Land Market Stable in the Northern Plains Despite Financial Stress in Ag
Location and quality are key drivers of land prices throughout the northern plains despite the overall slower land market. Good quality farmland normally sells well as will recreation properties in the right locations. But lower quality farmland saw a decline this past year according to Brian Mohr area sales manager for Farmers National Company
Uptick in Land Sales in the Southern Plains
"Land values throughout the southern Plains states are as varied as the terrain. Farmers National Company has above average sales activity in the region compared to last year," comments Paul Schadegg, Area Sales Manager for Farmers National Company. High quality land has sold well whereas lower quality land saw a decline in demand and price.
The Eastern Cornbelt Land Market Turns Slower
Location and quality are key drivers of land prices throughout the eastern cornbelt, despite the overall slower land market. “Good quality farmland normally sells well as will recreation properties in the right locations. But lower quality farmland saw a decline this past year,” commented Roger Hayworth, ALC, Area Sales Manager Farmers National Company.
Land Market Update from Iowa and Wisconsin
Location and quality are key drivers of land prices in Iowa and Wisconsin despite the overall slower land market. “There have been some strong sales for high quality farm land in Iowa and for recreational land in the right location for the buyer” commented Sam Kain, area sales manager for Farmers National Company.
Regional Differences in the Land Market
Location, location, location is a guiding principle of real estate. It is true for the land market as well. Not only are there important perspectives and differences in each local land market, there are region wide characteristics that make the land market act differently in one area compared to another.
Who Is Buying and Selling Farmland?
There is often a misconception surrounding who sells farmland. Many immediately think of farmers as the sellers of most farmland, but this is not correct...
Real Net Farm Income Trends and Outlook
As with other income-generating real property assets, such as commercial buildings, net income is important in valuing farm and ranch land. Income that the asset generates over the years is the underlying basis in determining the asset's value...
The Impact of Flooding on Farmland Values
The eyes of the nation were riveted on last month's epic flooding in parts of Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. The toll on people's daily lives, their homes, and businesses continues to impact those who were in the flooded areas. Our concern goes out every day to those who are struggling to put their lives and businesses back to normal.
Trends to Watch That May Affect Land Values
There are a multitude of good informational sources pertaining to agriculture with the U.S.D.A leading the way along with both the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) which are within the U.S.D.A. In addition, land grant universities generate great information as do private firms and individuals involved in ag...
Winding Down the Winter Land Sales Season
As winter winds down we turn our attention to springtime. Similarly, there is a winter land sales and auction season that picks up in mid-January and slows down by the end of March as farmers turn full attention to spring planting. There continues to be land auctions and sales during the spring months, but the number drops way off.
Land Values: Another Tick Down?
The decline in land values since 2013 has been gradual and reasonable given the lower commodity prices and farm incomes. Over the past two years, land values stabilized and even bumped up a bit in several states...
Where to Buy Farmland?
A landowner recently asked me where was the best place to buy farmland right now. For such an easy sounding question, it is actually a much harder one to answer. First, the land buyer must be clear in their goals. Do they want to buy and hold long term or buy and sell after holding for a shorter period of years?
Who is Selling Land Now and In the Future?
As land market observers nervously watch who is selling land to glimpse the first hints of financially stressed sales by farmers, the actual market has not generally seen a large or increasing number of financially stressed sales yet.
Active Auction Results from Kansas
During the week of February 11, Farmers National Company held three separate land auctions selling 2,840 acres in three counties in south-central and southwestern Kansas. Public auctions are a good way to gauge land prices...
Looking Beyond the Statistics in Ag
It is important to examine the overall ag sector using statistics, charts, and analysis. The trends and changes indicated for various data sets and sectors is valuable for many reasons, not the least is to determine the health of the ag economy.
Why are Land Sales Up?
It may not be so with every land brokerage, but sales activity is definitely up at Farmers National Company during recent months. We know that the annual number of land sales in the grain belt are off 40-50% from the peak number of transactions in 2012-13...
Why Aren't Farmland Values Crashing Like the 1980's?
For those of us who farmed throughout the 1980s Farm Crisis there is a question that lurks in the back of our minds. Why aren't land values a lot lower?
Land Sales Remained Slow in 2018, But Increased for Farmers National Company
One of the underpinnings providing support to land values the past several years has been the lower volume of land for sale on the market. From the peak in sales volume in 2012-2013, the land market experienced a 45% drop in sales over the succeeding years which continues today at the lower level.
Generational Transfer of Wealth Includes Land
In the United States, we have been and will continue to see a huge transfer of wealth from the WW II and Korean War generation to Baby Boomers and younger. The previous generation built and saved wealth that is now being passed down to their heirs.
Variations Abound in the Land Market
The new year is only a few weeks old and we are already seeing variations in the land market around locations, price strength, and buying interest.
Land Market Predictions for 2019
As the calendar flips into a new year, farmers, ranchers, and landowners are pouring over the financial numbers of how their business totaled up for the past year.
Recapping the Land Market in 2018
It is the time of the year to pause and reflect on the preceding 12 months in the land market. Most would agree that it was a fairly stable land market with supply and demand in fairly good equilibrium.
2018 Auction Season Winding Down
Land auctions typically slow down as we approach mid-December and the year-end holiday season. Many sellers who sell after harvest want to be able to close the sale and have their proceeds before year end.
Two Overriding Questions in the Land Market
Currently, there are two important questions hovering over the land market. One is whether there will continue to be enough buyers in the marketplace to absorb or buy the land that comes up for sale? The other is...
Land Auctions Drawing Crowds Even in the Slower Market
Land auctions in the Midwest normally draw a good-sized crowd. Many local farmers, retired farmers, and landowners attend as well as investors, lenders, and ag vendors.
American Ag Has Much to be Thankful For
As we approach Thanksgiving and the opportunity to reflect on the things we can be thankful for, we in American agriculture have much to consider.
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