February 19, 2020

Minnesota Farm Land Values Soften

Tom Meersman reported yesterday at the Minneapolis Star Tribune Online that, “Farmland prices in Minnesota continue to soften as prices for corn and soybeans remain relatively low and the outlook for 2016 appears to offer marginal profits for many crop growers.

“The changes are part of a pattern of falling values for farmland in much of the central U.S., according to several reports published within the past week.

“An analysis by the University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics found that the average median price of farm real estate in Minnesota dropped 5.5 percent during the first nine months of 2015, from $4,878 to $4,611 per acre. The median is the price at which half of the transactions are higher and half are lower, and is considered a good measure to gauge price trends at the state or regional level.”

Mr. Meersman explained that, “Cash payments for Minnesota corn generally have stuck between $3.25 and $3.60 per bushel in recent months, below the cost of production for many farmers.”

Keith Good

Key Ag Hearings this week on Capitol Hill

There are several key agricultural related hearings taking place this week on Capitol Hill.

On Wednesday morning, the House Appropriations Ag Subcommittee will hear budget related testimony from Kevin Concannon, the Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.   Al Almanza, USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety will testify before the Ag Subcommittee on Wednesday afternoon, while the Food and Drug Administration’s Acting Commissioner  Stephen Ostroff will be before the Subcommittee Thursday morning.

Jason Weller, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will finish the week in front of the Ag Subcommittee where he will testify on budget related matters Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the House Ag Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday morning where the full Committee will explore the state of the rural economy; Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack will provide testimony at this briefing.  Related background regarding the condition of the U.S. ag economy is available here.

And on Thursday, the Senate Ag Committee will hold a business meeting to consider the Chairman’s Mark on Biotechnology Labeling Solutions- background on this bill, which “would prevent states from requiring labels on genetically modified foods,” is available here.

Also this week, USDA’s Economic Research Service will update its monthly Food Price Outlook on Thursday, and Wednesday, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will release its Crop Values Annual Summary.  This report contains the marketing year average prices and value of production of principal crops.

Keith Good