Crop Insurance Priority 1

Crop Insurance: Priority #1, by Agri-Pulse Communications

No matter who wins this November’s presidential election, one of the first items facing a new Secretary of Agriculture will be developing a 2018 farm bill, a process sure to begin early in 2017. As we start that effort, it is worth noting that for all its rich diversity, American agriculture seems to be united behind a few large overarching issues: coordinated and scientific regulatory policy by EPA, FDA, and USDA; healthy trade promotion; biotechnology; and farm labor issues, including immigration.



USDA Extends Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline

09/22/2015 10:12 AM EDT    Release No. 0263.15
USDA Extends Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

“The fall harvest is a busy time of the year for agriculture, so this extension will ensure that dairy producers have more time to make their choices,” said Vilsack. “We encourage all operations to examine the protections offered by this program, because despite the very best forecasts, markets can change.”  Read More…

Outlook for Texas Land Markets

Outlook for Texas Land Markets.  It’s been a great conference in San Antonio this week. Currently, Joe Outlaw is discussing the changes to the Farm Bill.  Six Clift Land Brokers representatives are here at the conference.  Just another way for us to stay up on land issues and continue being the Land Experts. Why would you go any place else for your farm and ranch real estate needs?

Interesting Topics in Agriculture

Interesting Topics in Agriculture

Flake, McCain introduce bill to help reduce wildfire risk
U.S. senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, both Arizona Republicans, have introduced a bill that would reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.Legal scholars predict Utah land transfer takes the public out of public lands
Acquiring title to 31 million acres of public lands could lead to less public access, less public involvement in land-use decisions and perhaps a better chance that imperiled plants and animals win federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Using drones to sell homes — except in Washington
Douglas Trudeau wanted to do things the right way, he said, even though he knows peers who have ignored FAA rules prohibiting the use of drone photography and video for commercial purposes.

Disputes over land common for presidential libraries
With President Barack Obama expected to choose the site for his library in less than two months, Chicagoans are engaged in a bitter fight over a proposal to place it in a public park.

Rural lawmakers back federal land transfer report
Rural lawmakers are calling for Idaho to invest at least $750,000 to continue laying the groundwork for the transfer of federal lands to state ownership.

Land values down after long rise
Farm managers and rural appraiser groups from North Dakota and Minnesota have recently published reports confirming what most farmers and landowners already sense — land values and rental markets softened in the 2014 calendar year.

Colorado rejects limit on open-space land seizures
The rejected bill would have prevented counties from using eminent-domain laws to seize private land for open space, parks, conservation or preservation of views.

High-speed rail agency behind schedule in buying land
California’s $68 billion high-speed rail project is as much as a year behind schedule in buying the land needed to start construction.

N.D., Minnesota land values down after long rise
Fargo, N.D. — Farm managers and rural appraiser groups from North Dakota and Minnesota have recently published reports confirming land values and rental markets softened in the 2014 calendar year.

Iowa Farmer Prepares Himself After Farm Land Value Sees Biggest Decline Since 1986
Right now if you drive around Iowa, you could say most of the farm land looks the same. However, if you ask farmers like Mort Zenor of Woodbury County, he’d tell you there’s more to a farm than “meets the eye.”

Farm land remains a solid investment despite taxes, land prices
Even though agricultural property taxes in Indiana have risen by 33 percent since 2007, farm land continues to be one of the best investments a producer can make.

Bill would increase property taxes for farmers
A bill from a Kansas Senator would substantially increase the amount farmers and ranchers pay for property taxes.

$280M available for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that rural agricultural producers and small business owners can now apply for resources to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make improvements.

Fed Appears to Hesitate on Raising Interest Rate
The Federal Reserve is not sounding like an institution that is ready to raise its benchmark interest rate in June.

New Mexico land commissioner halts renewal energy project. 
This $2 billion transmission project would carry electricity generated by renewable resources in New Mexico and Arizona to markets across the West.

Governor of Pennsylvania signs moratorium on fracking.
The executive order was signed to stop drilling on state lands but not on private land.

Study regarding Urban Croplands Performed
80% of urban croplands occur in low- to middle-income countries.

Bill to lower the farm and ranch property taxes is proposed in Nebraska.
Farmers and ranchers are paying a much higher portion of the local property tax bill than they did previously.

Hypothetic biofuel predictions without substantiation were made by the World Resources Institute.
The World Resource Institute fails to substantiate its claim that bioenergy is competing for food crops and land according to the Global Renewal Fuels Alliance.

U.S. offers land rights on the moon.
Federal Aviation Administration pens letter stating intention to allow commercial activities on the moon to be conducted on a non-interference basis.

Expect high beef prices for at least two years.
Record high prices are expected by cattle producers and consumers.

Agriculture is big business in Cayuga County in Alabama.
The county’s agricultural exports have increased to $65 million.

Time will tell if the declining oil prices will positively or negatively affect the real estate industry.
The short-term impact for most agents will probably be positive.

Costco sets its own rules for site selection.
See why no Costco is inside Dallas city limits yet.

Ag management strategies put on paper for 2015.
Farm businesses might consider some tactics during these volatile financial times in the farming business.

Land use, health, and infrastructure are priorities in Palo Altos.
Urban land planning is a key to this California community in 2015.

Forest Service releases final land management planning framework.
The Forest Service has established guidance documents that direct land managers’ implementation of the 2012 planning rule.

A bipartisan coalition introduced the Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2015 in the House (H.R. 641) and Senate (S. 330).
The proposal provides a permanent enhanced tax incentive to family farmers, ranchers, and other landowners who choose not to develop their land and instead preserve their property for conservation.

Student housing investors bought between $2.8 billion and $3.0 billion in properties in 2014.
New investors are going for student housing products.

Boost word of mouth referrals for your business.
Word of mouth is a strong marketing tool that takes strategy.

The EPA has withdrawn an interpretive rule regarding the Clean Water Act.
The interpretive rule is part of the larger Waters of the U.S. proposal issued by EPA last year being scrutinized by Congress.

Real estate exchange-traded funds could be in for a rocky ride.
If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates later this year as expected, REITS can take a hit.

Trends in Commercial Real Estate to Watch for in 2015
Position and be ready by knowing the trends.

RPT-U.S. grain farmers add debt as crop prices squeeze cash flow
U.S. grain farmers are boosting demand for loans from farm banks.

International Land in the News

Finally, Tokyo land prices to nudge higher
Land prices in Japan have been falling since its asset bubble burst in the early 1990s, but prices look set to rise, say analysts.

Some interesting facts about Canadian agriculture
In 1900, 50 cents of every dollar earned was spent on food. Today, Canadians spend just over 10 cents of every dollar we earn on food.

China to pilot rural land use reform
The State Council has passed a draft decision that will enable rural construction land to have the same rights and market price as state-owned construction land in some areas.

Australia tightens rules over foreign buying of agricultural land
Australia tightened rules on Wednesday over foreign ownership of its agricultural land amid concerns that it is losing control of its own food security.

Proposed South Africa ban on foreign land ownership aimed at farms: minister
In his State of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma said foreigners would be barred from owning land and South African citizens will not be able to own more than 12,000 hectares, or the equivalent of two farms.

Making Win-Win Land Investments in the Developing World
With international investors increasingly interested in large-scale land-based investments across the developing world, advocates are working with governments, investors, and local communities to help secure socially responsible agreements that protect human rights

Finding winners and losers in global land use
The United States added about 7.6 million acres of forests between 1990 and 2010.

Land ceilings of no more than two farms owned by one person proposed.
Africa’s government setting limits on ownership.

Brazil completes forest export market report.
See the report covering diverse forest products.

Extension on Farm Program Deadlines

Extension on Farm Program Deadlines

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that a one-time extension will be provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).  The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from Feb. 27, 2015 until March 31, 2015.  The final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage also remains March 31, 2015.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm’s current yield and base will be used.  A program choice of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by March 31, 2015, or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.

Nationwide, more than 2.9 million educational postcards, in English and Spanish, have been sent to producers, and over 4,100 training sessions have been conducted on the new safety-net programs. The online tools, available at, allow producers to explore projections on how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operation under possible future scenarios.

Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

To learn more, farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency county office.  To find your local office visit

If you should have any questions regarding this message please contact your local County FSA Office

Ins and Outs of the 2014 Farm Bill

Ins and Outs of the 2014 Farm Bill Webinar is scheduled for February 18th 10:00 am to 11:00 am CT

Realtors® Land Institute February 12, 2015 – Land owners and clients trying to determine which of the new federal farm programs are best for them, will have an opportunity to discuss live with experts during a Hot Topic Web Seminar. The hot topic web seminar will cover:

  • Opportunities to reallocate your base acreage program, based on planting history.
  • Updating your farm’s yields on actual yield history.
  • Understanding the three farm-income support options: Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC)-County program, Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program; and the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC)- Individual program.
  • Provisions of each program, and economic analysis to help guide you and your clients in the decision-making process.

“These programs are much different than previous farm programs. Our web seminar will help farmers cut through the clutter and gain some real insights into how these programs work.” Dr. Mintert.


James Mintert, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture and a professor and extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Over his careers Dr. Mintert has received numerous awards, and has authored more than 200 publications focusing on the economics of the livestock industry.

Michael Langemeier, PhD,  is the Associate Director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue University. Dr. Langemeier’s extension and research include copping systems, bench marking, strategic management, cost of production, and technical and economic efficiency.


Farm Bill Allows Early Termination for Certain CRP Contracts

Farm Bill Allows Early Termination for Certain CRP Contracts
USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Judith A. Canales, reminds producers that as of Aug. 6, producers with acres under contract through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can apply for early contract termination, as required by the 2014 Farm Bill. The deadline to request early CRP contract termination is Jan. 30, 2015.

The effective date for early termination is no earlier than October 1, 2014. The CRP contract must been in effect for at least five years and other conditions must be met. The 2014 Farm Bill identifies 10 exceptions whereby land will not be eligible for the early-out provisions. For a complete list of these exceptions, please view the program fact sheet CRP Opt Out Fact Sheet

“Once a CRP contract termination request is approved by the FSA County Committee, the decision cannot be reversed and the contract cannot be reinstated,” said Canales. “Likewise, producers must meet conservation compliance provisions for all land that will be returned to production.”
For more information on or to determine eligibility for early termination of existing CRP contracts, please contact your local FSA office. For local FSA Service Center contact information, please visit:

Evaluating Commodity Program Choices in the New Farm Bill

February 11, 2014
By:  University News Release
By: Jonathan Coppess, University of Illinois

The new farm bill has revised the farm safety net, requiring farmers and landowners to sort through a series of decisions. Here, we provide initial analysis and information on the choices in the new farm safety net for the 2014 crop year.  Read more here