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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. The Eastern Cornbelt was the hardest hit by springtime wet weather and had the least interest by farmers and landowners in thinking about buying or selling land. Their concentration was on the weather, delays, and decisions that had to be made about prevent plant or late planting and also the surrounding unknowns.
At Farmers National Company, the calls from landowners thinking about selling their land during the upcoming months are picking up. This is despite the uncertainties in ag this season and shows that landowners are looking for good advice during what is another chapter in a string of challenging years for agriculture. Landowners wanting to sell are thinking ahead to terminating leases and not negotiating rents for 2020. Lease negotiations for 2020 will be difficult with an expected late harvest season, grain price gyrations, and crop yields that will be quite variable by area. Sellers also have target time frames for when they want to close on the sale, so planning has to begin well in advance in order to properly list, market, and sell the property.
As we sit here in mid-summer looking ahead to the rest of the growing season, it is hard not to overstate the uncertainties in agriculture that are with us or on the horizon. At the top of the current list of uncertainties is how many acres didn't get planted and what will be the effect on final production. Going hand in hand in determining final crop production is the question of final yields with having so many acres planted later than normal in less than ideal conditions. It becomes more important than ever to avoid extended hot spells and to have adequate rains the rest of the growing season. There will be wide variations between areas in farm incomes. On top of the weather challenges this year, ag continues to be negatively affected by trade and tariff issues with no end in sight at this time.
Those landowners making inquiries about selling right now are made up of family ownership groups, recent inheritors, estates, and a few individuals who have various reasons for wanting to sell. It is important for them to have good advice about the current land market and what is happening in agriculture. Knowing their farm and the local area along with the marketplace for land is all critical when landowners want to sell their farm. Landowners are seeking professional help and this is why Farmers National Company agents are getting more calls from landowners who are wanting to sell.
Senior Vice President - Real Estate Operations
|Category: Agricultural Real Estate News|