Cropland Shows Acreage Gains

Thought you might be interested in this excerpt from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association Newsletter January 24, 2014

Pasture, Cropland Show Acreage Gains, Less Erosion
A new report on the status and conditions of America’s agricultural lands shows cropland erosion rates remained stable between 2007 and 2010, despite a growth in agricultural land use and more extreme weather events.
NRCS’s latest National Resources Inventory (NRI) summary report features data on how U.S. non-federal rural lands are being used. Data comes from 800,000 sample locations across the country.
NRI data also shows that between 2007 and 2010:

    • Pastureland increased by 847,000 acres.
    • Cropland acres increased by 2 million acres, this following a steady decline over the previous 25 years.
    • Developed land increased by 2 percent from 111.1 to 113.3 million acres.
    • Palustrine wetlands slightly increased. These include swamps or marshes, and estuarine wetlands.
    • Acres enrolled in NRCS programs grew from about 17 million acres in 2007 to about 40 million in 2010.
    • Fruit, nut and flower production acreage surged from 124,800 to almost 274,000.

Report may be seen at this website






Clift Land Brokers Appoints New CEO

George and Phyllis

George Clift, owner and President of George Clift Enterprises Inc. in Amarillo, TX, recently announced the appointment of Phyllis Weiss Riley as the new Chief Executive Officer of Clift Land Brokers. Ms. Riley has been at Clift Land Brokers for five years working in the marketing, administrative, and accounting areas of their land brokerage and land auction business.
Phyllis received her BS degree in Agriculture Business & Economics from West Texas A & M University in 1989. In addition to her time at Clift Land Brokers, she has worked in the Amarillo area in several agriculture marketing positions.

Specializing in farm and ranch real estate and land auctions, Clift Land Brokers has grown to become the largest land broker in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles with seven offices and 23 sales associates throughout the region. With licensing in TX, OK, CO, NM, KS, and NE, the brokerage has expanded to serve a large six state area.

When asked about her new position, Phyllis said, “I am excited about this new opportunity. I appreciate the faith and trust George has in me and look forward to helping him continue to build our business throughout the region.”

George added, “Phyllis has been a vital part of the growth of our company, demonstrating expertise in office organization and marketing, and is ready to manage the company.  As our client base continues to grow, one on one customer service becomes even more important and that will be a large part of my focus for the future, along with growing our business both from a marketing side to land buyers and assisting landowners with their land transactions across our region.“

For more information contact George Clift, ALC at 806-674-8979

Farms Aren’t Going Away……

Jerry Schniederjan, Clift Land Brokers Agent, was recently interviewed about the future of the family farm. Here is an excerpt from the article as it appeared in the Austin Tribune.

Jerry Schniederjan, an Amarillo real estate agent who sells agricultural land, said most  family farms and ranches were bought by larger family farms and corporate farms. It has become difficult to make a living on a small farm, he said.

Years ago, when land prices were lower  and farms were smaller, Schniederjan and his wife, Shellie, bought a farm. They spent more than two decades growing wheat, grain sorghum and corn in the Panhandle.

They enjoyed raising their boys on the farm, but since neither son has an interest in farming — Ryan is a pathologists’ assistant in Houston, and Kyle is an engineer in Amarillo — the couple decided to sell more than a decade ago.

10 Factors that Drive Farmland Value

Here is an interesting perspective on land values from Sara Schafer, Business and Crops Online Editor.  Sara talks about Global factors that impact your farm value. She quotes Tim Hopper, chief economist at TIAA-CREF, a financial services and investing organizaiton, saying, “People have an intuitive sense of what their land is worth. Yet to stay ahead of the curve, he says, farmers should think beyond their farm gates.”  Click here for the entire article.

George Clift, ALC Honored with The Owen W Sherrill Award

Owen Sherrill Award 2013

April 25, 2013
The Owen W. Sherrill Award was presented to George Clift, ALC at the Texas A&M 23rd Annual Outlook Land Markets Conference in San Antonio, TX

The Award honors a Realtor who has contributed to the overall positive image of an outstanding, professional Texas Farm and Land Broker. This award was instituted in 1976 to honor the First President and Organizer of Texas Realtors® Land Institute Chapter #22, Owen W. Sherrill, AFLM

Progressive Farmer article on land values.

Here’s an excerpt from an article on land values published in the November 2013 issue of Progressive Farmer….”Clift Land Brokers has a big footprint when it comes to farm and ranch land, leaving George Clift with a broad perspective.  The broker says there are two regions he’d look to invest in today: the High Plains of Texas or the eastern areas of North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.  In the High Plains, he’d focus on grain-deficit areas, where the commodity brings a premium over the Midwest. He says land here is a consistent producer, drawing from underground aquifers.

“Returns of farms in the High Plains will exceed that of other regions, but you have to understand it. Here it’s all about water and the regulation of water.”

Land prices in the High Plains can range from $750 to $6,000 an acre, depending on the water situation, he explains. But irrigated cropping means you control the variables. A typical irrigated corn crop will take 24 inches of water, and yields will consistently average 220 to 240 bushels per acre.

Looking east, Clift would want to buy land where you could take out trees and convert to row crops. He expects yields on his investment would be 5 to 6% in the High Plains versus 3% in the Midwest, 4 to 5% in the Delta and 4 to 5% in the eastern states.

Here’s the full article Progressive Farmer – Land Values


George Clift New RLI National President

November 8, 2013 (San Francisco, CA) -Tradition was honored as the REALTORS® Land Institute installed the 2014 Executive Leadership team at the Induction and Recognition Luncheon in San Francisco, CA on November 7, 2013. Chris Polychron, 2013 Vice President of National Association of REALTORS® swore in 2014 RLI National President George Clift, ALC; 2014 RLI National President-Elect Terri Jensen, ALC; and 2014 RLI National Vice President Bob Turner, ALC.

The 2014 RLI National President George Clift stated, “I appreciate the honor and privilege of serving as your president for 2014-the year of the Institute’s 70th Anniversary.  With its rich history and strong future, we will Celebrate the Culture of the Institute and the esteemed Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation.”

Members and guests witnessed the historic passing of the gavel by all RLI Past Presidents in attendance. Then, the 2013 RLI National President Chuck Wingert, ALC, was saluted for his accomplishments to “build the future” in 2013. He will continue to serve on the executive team as the 2014 RLI National Immediate Past President.

The Institute had a successful year with increased awareness through communications, corporate outreach, connections with local and state organizations, and interaction with leadership of the National Association of REALTORS®; and had record attendance at the 2013 National Land Conference. Two new membership categories were added-The Military Transition Program and International Membership. In addition, the Institute rolled out new LandU courses and methods of course delivery, the ALC Code of Conduct was created, a Future Leaders Committee was formed, and the Institute advocated on Capitol Hill for issues such as water rights, taxation, GPS regulations, conservation, flood insurance, and the Farm Bill.

About the REALTORS® Land Institute

The REALTORS® Land Institute is the professional membership organization for real estate practitioners who specialize in land transactions. An affiliate organization of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Institute provides a wide range of programs and services that build knowledge, relationships, and business opportunities for the best in the land business. Through its best-in-class LandU curriculum, the REALTORS® Land Institute confers its Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation to only those real estate practitioners who achieve the highest levels of education, experience, and professionalism.