October 2020 Wallace’s Farmer “MarketPlace Extra”
Throughout 2020, there have been some prominent themes in Midwestern agriculture. One theme has been the importance of flexibility – or the lack thereof, that can cause marketplace harm. Case-in-point, consider the pain experienced across the livestock sector (e.g., hogs, cattle, dairy) early this year when supply and demand became severely misaligned. Meat counters and grocery store shelves were almost empty, while at the same time we saw videos of milk being dumped and heard stories of animals being euthanized. Rather than there being apparent shortages, we learned staffing complications on the other end of the supply chain due to COVID-related issues limited processing capacities. Elsewhere, consider the ethanol sector, which experienced huge losses when gasoline demand – and therefore ethanol demand – dropped. No one saw the tables for demand, in either of these sectors, being turned on their heads. Flexibility was needed, and when it was not available, the results were painful.
Another theme this year that many of us have come to grips with, is our lack of control. I was reminded of this reality in August every time I looked at the U.S. Drought Monitor maps , or when I took a drive across east-central Iowa and observed the millions of acres of crop damage/destruction from the August 10th derecho. Unbelievable. And there was really nothing we could do to impact what had happened.
Having said that, we are not powerless. We can prepare ourselves (and our businesses) for these seemingly unforeseeable events. Come to expect the unexpected, as they say. Which points to one of the major positive themes I have observed in 2020. The amazing resilience of Iowa and Midwestern agriculture. If you would have asked me back in January about the major concerns I had for our country and our agricultural industry, neither a “global pandemic” nor an “inland hurricane” would have made my top 10 concerns. But both occurred. And while both events have been really painful, the people I work with across agriculture are focused on what they can do, instead of being focused on what they cannot.
Finally, specifically relating to the Iowa and Midwestern farmland market, the theme of 2020 seems to be that of stability. Back in March when COVID first hit, there was concern across the land market that the rough waves being felt across the general economy would spill over and create wobbly legs for the farmland market. Thus far, however, that has not happened. Low interest rates, continued government support for agriculture, and a slim inventory of available farms for sale have all helped to support stable price levels. Given all the instability elsewhere, stable farmland prices seem improbable. But the various sales noted below, are a testament to stability in the market. People still favor owning farmland. And in a year like 2020 when stability has been in short supply, Iowa (and Midwestern) farmland has delivered.
Buena Vista County:
80 +/- acres, located north of Newell, recently sold at public auction for $9,600 per acre. The farm consisted of 79 +/- tillable acres with a CSR2 of 87.7, and equaled $111/CSR2 point on the tillable acres.
Cerro Gordo County:
80 +/- acres, located near Swaledale, recently sold at public auction for $6,250 per acre. The farm consisted of 79 +/- tillable acres with a CSR2 of 65.7, and equaled $96/CSR2 point on the tillable acres.
Black Hawk County:
45 +/- acres, located west of Cedar Falls, recently sold for $9,832 per acre. The farm consisted of 43 +/- tillable acres with a CSR2 of 84.0, and equaled $122/CSR2 point on the tillable acres.
116 +/- acres, located southwest of Lake City, recently sold at public auction for $10,800 per acre. The farm consisted of 111 +/- tillable acres with a CSR2 of 87.5, and equaled $129/CSR2 point on the tillable acres.
40 +/- acres, located northwest of Clutier, recently sold at public auction for $11,000 per acre. The farm consisted of 38 +/- tillable acres with a CSR2 of 91.0, and equaled $127/CSR2 point on the tillable acres.
146 +/- acres, located southwest of Walcott, recently sold for $11,125 per acre. The farm consisted of 144 +/- tillable acres with a CSR2 of 89.3, and equaled $126/CSR2 point on the tillable acres.
160 +/- acres, located southeast of Clarinda, recently sold for $6,375 per acre. The farm consisted of 155 +/- tillable acres with a CSR2 of 69.8, and equaled $94/CSR2 point on the tillable acres.
77 +/- acres, located west of Indianola, recently sold at public auction for $11,000 per acre. The farm consisted of 70 +/- cropped acres with a CSR2 of 84.2, and equaled $144/CSR2 point on the tillable acres.
140 +/- acres, located northeast of Ottumwa, recently sold for $3,325 per acre. This recreational farm consisted of 66 +/- tillable acres, with a CSR2 of 58.3, and the balance of the farm (74 +/- acres) was in timber.
Hertz Real Estate Services compiled this list, but not all sales were handled by Hertz. Call Hertz at 515-382-1500/800-593-5263 or visit www.Hertz.ag.