Dates, locations and registration contacts include in the month of February:
Feb. 14 – Tundra Lodge, Green Bay. Jamie Patton (715) 526‐4871 or Aerica Bjurstrom (920) 388‐7138
Feb. 17 – Sauk County UW-Extension, Baraboo. Katie Pfeiffer (608) 355-3257
Feb. 25 – Marshfield Agriculture Research Station, Marshfield. Heather Schlesser (715) 261-1230
The program addresses these topics:
• Assessing Risk – Ensuring Animal Welfare on Farms
• Preventing Drug Residue in Cull Cows
• Minimizing the Risk of Down Cows and Guidelines for Down Cow Welfare
• Safely Moving Down Cows.
Heartland ag land sales remain strong
Land sales finished strong in 2013, spurred by good farmer demand for additional land, according to Farmers National Company, a farm and ranch real estate company. Farmers National Company recorded real estate sales of $750 million for 2013, compared to $640 million in 2012.
Activity during the first half of 2013 slowed slightly because of a surge in sales at the end of 2012 prompted by tax law changes. However, sales levels turned upward to round out the year and finished strong, according to Randy Dickhut, AFM, vice president of real estate operations. He notes that trends indicate an active pace will continue through the first half of 2014 for most regions.
There has been continued widespread auction activity at year-end. Farmers National Company real estate agents worked 45 auctions during November alone. Out of 829 properties sold by Farmers National Company in 2013, over 40% sold at auction.
While land prices have stabilized compared to the double-digit price increases seen in recent years, levels are at historical highs. Prices per acre for high quality land range nationwide from $3,500 to as high as $12,000 to $13,000 per acre in areas of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. Values in the Upper Midwest are also very strong, with sales reaching $10,000 per acre.
"Farms remained profitable in 2013 despite lower commodity prices, in part due to reductions in fertilizer expenses of nearly 30%," said Dickhut. "This is prompting farm owners to continue buying premium land to expand their operations. Interest in average to medium quality land has waned, slowing activity for such property."
Prices for pasture land have increased in places like Nebraska, as Texas livestock producers transplanted herds due to recent drought. As regions in Texas continue to recover from the drought, land values there are forecast to rise 5%-7%, according to Dickhut.