Farmland values slipped some in the first half of 2019 in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. But on the whole, the real estate market for cropland remained stable as values continue to slowly adjust to the current margin environment, reports Farm Credit Services of America.

The value of 64 benchmark farms tracked by FCSAmerica declined an average of 0.59% in the first six months of 2019. Since the market’s peak in 2013, cropland values are down 20.1% in Iowa, 21.2% in Nebraska and 12.8% in South Dakota in FCSAmerica’s semiannual benchmark farmland study.

“Despite continued tight commodity price margins in 2018, real estate values remained stable and were supported by a favorable interest rate environment, market facilitation payments and equilibrium in the supply and demand levels for real estate,” said Tim Koch, FCSAmerica’s chief credit officer.

Iowa farmland experienced the biggest decline in FCSAmerica’s latest benchmark farmland study. However, values in the state still are up 2.7% compared to a year ago.

Modest declines in Nebraska and South Dakota in the later half 2018 extended into 2019 for a drop of 1.4% and 1.3% since last July.

Of Iowa’s 21 benchmark farms, 10 decreased in value, three increased and eight saw no change. Ten benchmark farms in Nebraska lost value, five increased and three were unchanged. In South Dakota, values dropped on five farms. The remaining 18 farms held even. Wyoming continues to see values for cropland and pastureland increase. However, the limited number of farmland sales in the state makes it difficult to accurately track trends.

Farmland sales across FCSAmerica’s territory were down in the first two quarters of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. South Dakota saw the biggest decline so far this year, with 26.7% fewer sales. In Iowa, sales were down 11%, while Nebraska’s combined sales for irrigated and dry cropland dropped 18.4%.

The average quality of land has not changed in the past year, and buyer demand for high quality ground remains strong.

Sorghum board seeks applicants for District One

LINCOLN – One directorship on the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board is open for appointment. The appointment will fill directorship to represent District 1. The filing deadline is 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13.

District 1 includes the counties of: Jefferson, Gage, Pawnee, Richardson, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Lancaster, Saline, Seward, Cass, Sarpy, Douglas, Washington, Saunders, Butler, Colfax, Dodge, Burt, Cuming, Stanton, Wayne, Thurston, Dakota, Dixon and Cedar.

Sorghum growers interested in appointment to fill the open seat may place their name on a candidacy list by submitting to the Board a completed application for gubernatorial appointment, a letter or statement of interest in serving on the Board, two letters of endorsement from grain sorghum growers, and documentation substantiating qualification to serve as a member of the Board (sales receipts, warehouse receipts, government loan documentation, or acreage certification).

Qualified candidates include those who are citizens of Nebraska, are at least 21 years of age, and derive a portion of their income from growing grain sorghum.

Applications for appointment can be obtained from the Governor’s office by writing Kathleen Dolezal, staff assistant for boards and commissions, Nebraska Governor’s Office, State Capitol, Box 94848, Lincoln, NE 68509-4848, or calling (402) 471-2256; or contacting the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board, P.O. Box 94982, Lincoln, NE 68509, (402) 471-4276; or emailing sorghum.board@nebraska.gov.

Application may also be completed online at: https://governor.nebraska.gov/sites/governor.nebraska.gov/files/doc/Executive-Appointment-Application.pdf

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