Understanding recent trends in Midwest farmland leasing

From: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

On November 27, 2012, the Chicago Fed hosted a conference to examine recent trends in farmland leasing and their impacts on agricultural lending. Experts gathered to analyze various kinds of farmland rental arrangements, different sources of income from farmland, and shifting relationships between farmland owners and farm operators—all within the context of large and rapid rises in cash rental rates for Midwest farmland that lag the jumps in value of the land itself.

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Ag forecast emphasizes export opportunities

From: The Daily Tribune News (Georgia)

by Matt Shinall

With a show of hands, only two at Monday’s Ag Forecast presentation acknowledged the use of exporting to sell their product in markets outside the U.S. — an opportunity speakers emphasized and promoted as a tool for agricultural producers of every size.

With the nearly 100 regional agriculture industry leaders in attendance for the 2013 Georgia Ag Forecast, presenters hoped to change the slim ratio of guests actively exporting their products. The event was held Monday at the Rome-Floyd County E.C.O. Center as presented by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.

Deere – Buying The Agricultural Secular Growth Trend

From: Seeking Alpha


Deere (DE) is a large producer of agricultural machinery, with a strong presence in the North American market. The company gets almost 75% of its revenues from selling tractors, loaders and other equipment to the farming and lawn sector. The rest of the revenues are made up of capital goods, which are sold to the construction and the forestry sector. Like Caterpillar (CAT), Deere also has a financial division which is involved in providing financing for its products. The company has a 175 year old history and is steadily expanding into international markets. Deere is a sound dividend investment, as it maintained its dividend during the Lehman crisis, when many of its peers like GE (GE) were forced to make drastic cuts. With agriculture set to become the focus of global investment due to the dramatic increase in population, we think that Deere is a great long term investment. However, we are a bit concerned about the short term as the stock has spiked along with the rest of the sector in the last one month. We would wait for dips before making a major move into the stock.

Agricultural reform: what to consider when deciding the budget (EU)

From: European Parliament/News

We should not forget about farming’s economic and social impact when reforming the EU’s common agricultural policy, according to the EP’s agricultural committee chair Paolo De Castro. The Italian Social Democrat MEP made the plea after his committee voted on plans shaping Parliament’s position on the reform ahead of the EU summit on the long-term budget on 7 and 8 February, which will affect how the agriculture policy will be financed. We talked to him about why it is vital to support farmers.

The right to farm may be eroded if producers do not know their rights

From: The Prairie Star


“If you aren’t at the table you are probably on the menu,” said Wally Congdon, a life-long rancher.

Wally understands that if his commitment stops at the cattle guard he may see the lifestyle he loves slowly disappear.

“The Montana Right to Farm law says that farming, when done responsibly, is not a nuisance,” he said.

That may seem like a simple truth but, with expanding subdivisions and the arrival of non-rural residents in the state’s rural communities, conflicts and misunderstandings about what is a nuisance are increasing.

Technology helps modern farmers succeed

From: Idaho State Journal

By David Ashby

POCATELLO — Life for the first Idaho farmers was difficult, to say the very least.

One bad drought, poor PH levels in the soil, or an onslaught of parasitic insects feeding on the budding harvest could mean life or death for the early farming communities.

Though farmers today are still dealing with problems like these that directly affect the health of their crops, the technology available to today’s agriculturalists is truly amazing. This technology was recently on display at the 2013 Ag Expo, held at Idaho State University Tuesday through Thursday.

Nebraska governor wants to end sales tax exemptions for agriculture

From: CPA Practice Advisor

Joseph Moore, Nebraska City News-Press

Nebraska’s individual and business taxes would be eliminated under a new tax plan outlined by Gov. Dave Heineman on Jan. 18. To make up for lost income tax revenue, the plan would end sales tax exemptions on products from agricultural machinery and chemicals to medicine and medical equipment.

Sens. Brad Ashford and Beau McCoy of Omaha will cosponsor two separate bills to be introduced to the legislature on Jan.

United States Tractor Sales Experience Double Digit Growth in 2012

From: MachineFinder.com

Tractor sales in the United States experienced a healthy growth rate across the board in 2012, as well as year-over-year growth in the month of December. This is according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) monthly “Flash Report” for December 2012.

Back in January 2012, Charlie O’Brien, agriculture sector leader for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, said “There’s an expectation of growth in all the tractor categories.” Indeed, the AEM data shows total farm tractor sales in the last year have grown by 10 percent. For the month of December, sales were up 12 percent year-over-year.

Purdue University: An Agricultural Retailer’s Guide to Customer Care

Editor’s Note:  Purdues University’s publication, “An Agricultural Retailer’s Guide to Customer Care” is available here.

The following is from the Guide’s A Retailer’s Link to Profitable Customers:

Agricultural retailers walk a fine line. On the one side, they need to be extensions of their customers’ farming operations and help those customers be profitable. On the other side, retailers must keep their eyes on their own profits. The recommendations, products, and services that ag retailers provide must translate into value for growers who plow them back into the land. To be successful, ag retailers must know what their customers want. It is important to remember that growers do business with retailers who:

The Pending Executive Order on Cyber Security Will Have A Major Impact on Agriculture

 The  soon the be announced Executive Order on Cyber Security will have a significant impact on agricultural retailers as well as those that produce their products.

CRE has been working this issue for nearly a decade and has a leading Interactive Public Docket  dedicated to this important topic.  Of  particular concern will be the entry the federal government will have to the facilities to those that produce products for the agricultural sector.

Readers who wish to submit comments may do so here.

 Readers  interested in this new national regulatory program can keep abreast of this rapidly changing topic by reading the aforementioned IPD;  specific questions can be addressed to CRE.