Check out this view on Red Iron Lake. Winter is here – time to ice fish.
Governor’s Pheasant Habitat Summit Slated for Friday. Over 500 people will gather in Huron this Friday, Dec. 6, for Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s Pheasant Habitat Summit. The Governor’s Pheasant Habitat Summit will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Huron Crossroads and Convention Center and the Huron Arena.
The event will feature morning speakers. Attendees will then be asked to break into small groups to consider the question: “What can be done to maintain and enhance existing pheasant habitat as well as increasing pheasant habitat in South Dakota?”
Registration for the summit has closed, but individuals who do not attend the event will be able to watch a live presentation on the Internet. South Dakota Public Broadcasting will host a live webcast of the morning lectures, and a link to a recording of the event will be available from the Public Broadcasting website at Sdpb.org/live.
If you would like to provide comments after viewing the webcast, please feel free to do so at,email@example.com
Pre-meeting information, the agenda and the live webcast can also be found on the Game, Fish and Parks Department website at http://www.gfp.sd.gov/pheasantsummit/default.aspx.
The video of the meeting and post-meeting information will also be available at the Department’s website following the summit.
The last decade for agriculture has been the most exciting in many generations. Rising commodity prices and strong domestic and global demand has driven U.S. row crop farmland and other agricultural assets to record highs. Farming used to be a sleepy business that now is frequently on the front page of the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Over the last decade, U.S. farmland values have increased 116%, from $1,340 per acre in 2004 to $2,900 per acre in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Midwest Corn Belt, the primary farming region of the U.S., has been the leading beneficiary of the agriculture boom, with farmland values increasing over 200% in Illinois and Iowa. The global demand for agriculture has not only created wealth in the U.S., but across the globe from South America, to Eastern Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Jim Rogers said, “the farmers are going to be driving the Lamborghinis,” and this is coming true. In Illinois, the average farmer income was over $250,000 in 2012, up substantially from $66,000 in 2005. Higher commodity prices, increased production, and expense management, have led to the record farm income. Farmers have reinvested their profits back into their operations, increasing the size and scale of their farming operations and driving up farmland values.
Farmland values per acre in Illinois and Iowa as of 2013 are now $7,800 and $8,400 per acre, respectively. Yes, farmland has sold for $15,000 per acre and even over $20,000 per acre, but U.S. farmland is a $2.5 trillion asset class and a few million dollar sales are not representative of the overall asset class.
U.S. farmland has been an attractive investment for not only farmers, but investors as well. The consistent income, diversification, lack of correlation to other asset classes, and inflation hedge of farmland has been an attractive investment for individuals and institutions.
Despite the recent enthusiasm for agriculture, we believe farmland values are fairly valued based on current market fundamentals and have substantial upside. Farmland values, like all assets, are a function of their future cash flows. Commodity prices are just one variable in the equation and production and expenses are keys to analyzing profitability.
The average high quality farm in Iowa generates $950 per acre in revenues. We estimate the average input costs for a high quality Iowa farm to be $425 per acre and average cash rents to be $425, leaving a profit for farmers of $100 per acre, which is what most farmers use as their annual profit target per acre.
Over the last 40 years, U.S. farmland has sold at an average capitalization rate of 5.0%. Using this historical multiple, with the average cash rent for a high quality Iowa farm of $425 per acre, generates an average value of Iowa farmland at $8,500 per acre, which is $100 more per acre than Iowa farmland is currently valued at.
The last ten years have been the “Decade of the Farmer,” but this is just the beginning and we estimate we are in the second-to-third inning of a long-term bull market. We have highlighted a few data points that are important in driving farmland’s returns over the next decade.
Rising Global Demand – The global demand story will continue to strain the world’s food supply. The global population is expected to grow from 7.0 billion people to 9.0 billion people by 2050. Over this same time period, food production will need to double to meet the needs of a higher protein diet.
Land Scarcity – There are approximately 3.5 billion acres of arable land in the world and the potential for adding a mere 5% over the next few decades. Soil erosion and population growth are also depleting arable land by the minute. Over two acres are disappearing per minute according to the American Farmland Trust.
Improving Technology – Precision technology and sustainable farming techniques will allow farmers to increase profitability over the next decade. Efficient use of fertilizer has already lowered costs to 15% of revenues, from 20% a decade ago. Drought and cold tolerance traits will allow farmers to have more stable yields. New technology will have a substantial affect on margins.
Expansion of the Corn Belt – Planted corn acreage has grown 17% over the last decade as high commodity prices and improving technology has allowed farmers to plant corn farther north and west. Expanding infrastructure is also changing the direction of grain. Historically grain has been sent to the Mississippi River and the east, but rising demand in Asia has more grain being sent to the west.
Multiple Expansion – Despite the rising interest in agricultural assets and low interest rates, farmland values have not seen an expansion in multiples. Over the last 40 years, farmland has been valued at cap rates of 5.0% and farmland still averages 5.0% cap rates in 2013.
Conservative Balance Sheets – Farmer balance sheets are the most conservative in over 40 years according to the USDA. In Iowa, 78% of farmland has no debt against it, up from 75% in 2007.
Investors Yet to Participate – In Illinois and Iowa in 2012, 85% and 82% of farmland was bought by local individuals, respectively. Investors’ have yet to have a meaningful impact or participation in the asset class. There is less than 1% of farmland currently in institutional hands.
Aging Farmer – As of 2007, the age of the average U.S. farmer was 57.1. Over the next decade there will be a substantial change in who is sitting on the tractor as today’s farmers enter retirement. Typically the average parcel changes ownership once every 75 years. We see this generational change as one of the best opportunities to acquire farmland due to the unusually high volume of land potentially changing hands.
Over the next decade, agriculture will have a few bumps in the road. Despite the strong demand story, we have highlighted some risks that may be hurdles in the short-term.
Rising Interest Rates – Interest rates can’t stay low forever and we have already seen a substantial rise in 2013. A considerable rise in interest rates may prohibit growth in agriculture and farmers access to capital.
Washington – Indecision in Washington and to-be-determined Farm Bill has left farmers uneasy about what support the government will provide in the short-term.
Macro Economic Uncertainty – The end of easy monetary policy and potential slowdowns in emerging markets may slow the development of the global demand story.
Identifying Assets – Rising agricultural asset values is making it harder to find undervalued assets. Ten years ago you would have made money by purchasing anything, now it takes hard work and deep analysis to identify the right assets that will outperform over the next decade.
Understanding Farmland – All farmland is not created equal and two properties across the street from each other can have completely different production and economics. Identifying high quality assets that will benefit from the global demand story is key to an allocation in agriculture.
When analyzing an investment in agriculture, it is important to look to the future. Farming has changed drastically over the last decade and will continue to develop over the next decade. Today’s progressive American farmer doesn’t merely work the land: he is also salesman, manager, accountant, buyer, marketer, scientist, agronomist, mechanic, and computer expert.
Over the next decade, famers will continue to consolidate and produce larger amounts of acreage, lowering their fixed costs and overhead. Precision farming and lower fertilizer use will increase margins and drive profitability.
Farmland is a long-term investment and the focus should not be on commodity prices and yield estimates over the next twelve months, but over the next ten, twenty, thirty years. Farmland is the one variable in the farming equation that cannot be replaced and with sustainable farming methods, an investment in farmland will last longer than we can even imagine.
Article courtesy of farmlandforecast.colvin-co.com. Read the entire article here.
The snow totals from Winter Storm Atlas are unbelievable!
Lead – 55″
Deadwood – 48″ on the west side of town
Sturgis – 35″ on the east side of town
Piedmont – 35″
Rapid City – up to 31″ on the city’s southwest side
Spearfish – 26″ downtown
Huge livestock losses have been reported. Early estimates suggest western South Dakota lost at least 5 percent of its cattle, said Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Some individual ranchers reported losses of 20 percent to 50 percent of their livestock, Christen said. The storm killed calves that were due to be sold soon as well as cows that would produce next year’s calves in an area where livestock production is a big part of the economy, she said.
“This is, from an economic standpoint, something we’re going to feel for a couple of years,” Christen said.
Some ranchers still aren’t sure how many animals they lost, because they haven’t been able to track down all of their cattle. Snowdrifts covered fences, allowing cattle to leave their pastures and drift for miles. I have heard stories of Ranchers looking for their cattle in his pasture and not finding his own but others from miles away.
The official total of 23.1 inches in Rapid City makes this the second heaviest snowstorm on record in the city. Nearly six months ago they recorded their now third heaviest snowstorm on record with 22.4 inches from April 8-10, 2013. It is also by far the biggest October snowstorm in Rapid City; in fact, the 23.1 inches from this one storm dwarfs the city’s previous record for the entire month of October, which was 15.1 inches in 1919.
With low costs, regulation friendly and a great quality of life, South Dakota has been chosen as the top state for business.
This article appeared in the Thursday, September 19, 2013 issue of the Aberdeen News
EHD virus spreading through herd.
Bismarck, N.D. — North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department is suspending further sales of deer hunting licenses because of an outbreak of a deer disease commonly known as EHD.
The department has been receiving reports of epizootic hemorrhagic disease deaths in the southwestern part of the state, and the 1,000 doe licenses still available will not be issued, according to Wildlife Chief Randy Kreil.
“While we first received reports of isolated deer deaths in August, loss of deer to this disease appears to have extended into September, and depending on the weather, may continue into October,” Dreil said in a statement.
The affected area stretches from Bowman to Bismarck, he said.
EHD is a naturally occurring virus that is spread by biting midges. White-tailed deer that are infected almost always die, though mule deer usually survive. The first hard freeze of the season usually kills the midge that carries the virus, stemming the spread of the disease. The virus is not known to harm people.
It’s not the first outbreak of EHD in North Dakota. In 2011, deer deaths from the disease occurred well into October and prompted Game and Fish to suspend license sales and offer refunds to the holders of 13,000 licenses in several southwestern hunting units.
Kreil said it is too early to know whether this year’s outbreak is bad enough to warrant similar action. A decision won’t be made until after the opening weekend of pheasant season in mid-October, during which bird hunters can act as voluntary scouts.
“In the past, it has been helpful to gauge the scope and intensity of an EHD situation when there are thousands of hunters in the field in EHD areas who might observe dead deer along waterways,” Kreil said.
A total of 59,500 deer licenses were made available this season. The deer gun season opens at noon Nov. 8 and runs through Nov. 24.
Most of you are aware by now the pheasant hunting numbers for South Dakota are projected to be down compared to the 2012 hunting season. The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks does an annual count of number of pheasants per miles as a means to tract numbers over time.
The Department conducts the brood counts on select stretches of roads around the state. Numbers are as low as 64% from last year according to the survey.
Brood counts are down due to the persistent drought that occurred in most of the state in 2012, and the cold, wet spring in 2013. Central South Dakota received two major snow storms in late March and April that was well received by the local farmers and ranchers, but not ideal for pheasant hatching.
The area near Pierre, the pheasants per mile for 2013 was 2.15 compared to 9.53 in 2012. The Chamberlain count was 2.66 in 2013 compared to 10.81 in 2012. Hunters can access the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks website for a complete listing of survey results by area for South Dakota.
On a personal note, as I drove past a harvested millet field I observed there were over 100 pheasants scouring the field. Maybe last year there would have been over 300 pheasants, my point is there are still a lot of pheasants in the area!
What does this mean: should I skip my annual pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota?
The answer would be “no way”.
Remember why you come to South Dakota to hunt pheasants. To spend time with family and friends, building memories that last a lifetime. Opportunity to get out and enjoy the fall colors, fresh air, and friendly people that are close to you. Where else can you get an intense cross training workout as you bust wild South Dakota roosters out of a slough of cattails. Or have the thrill of watching your hunting dog go on point, or flushing out pheasants from a plum thicket and then retrieving the reward of the hunt.
Or how about the first pheasant shot by the rookie in the group with a single shot .410 and the excitement and surprise as bird falls from that single shot. Then laughing cause the older guys can’t seem to hit the pheasant with their automatic shotgun, unloading numerous shots.
All these memories are what makes South Dakota pheasant hunting a lasting legacy for family and friends. Don’t cancel your trip, just expect to work a little harder at finding the birds. May take a little longer to fill a limit, but then again isn’t that what we say when we are out hunting, we just want to be enjoying the outdoors. At the end of the 2013 the number could still be near 1 million birds harvested.
August 09, 2013 – By Larry Janssen, SDSU Professor; Burton Pflueger, SDSU Extension Specialist/Professor; Bronc McMurtry, Student Research Assistant
South Dakota’s agricultural land values continued to boom during the past two years for all land uses and regions. The most recent two years of annual increases for all agricultural land values, 33.6% from 2012 to 2013 and 26.8% from 2011 to 2012, are the highest annual rates of increase in the past 23 years of this survey. Overall, agricultural land values have nearly doubled since 2009 and increased six-fold since 2001!
The average value of all agricultural land (as of February 2013) in South Dakota was $2,328 per acre, varying from an average of $5,504 in the east-central region to $536 in the northwest region. These are key findings from the 2013 South Dakota Farm Real Estate Market Survey completed by 215 agricultural lenders, Farm Service Agency officials, rural appraisers, assessors, realtors, professional farm managers, and Extension field specialists.
This was the twenty-third annual SDSU survey designed to estimate agricultural land values and cash rental rates by type of land in different regions of the State. The information provides an overview of current findings across South Dakota. Readers should use this information as a general reference and rely on local sources for more specific details.
Respondents provided county land value and cash rental rate information by agricultural land use. Responses, grouped by region with average values for all classes of land, are provided in figure 1. Separate estimates of land value and cash rental rate information for nonirrigated cropland, hayland, rangeland, and tame pasture are provided in figures 2, 3, and 4.
Average Land Value Summary
The all-land average values are highest in the three eastern regions with per acre values ranging from $5,504 in the east-central region to $4,954 in the southeast region and $3,684 in the northeast region. In the central and western regions, per acre all-land values vary from $3,217 in the north-central to $536 in the northwest region. In six regions, agricultural land values increased more than 30% from the previous year (figure 1).
Agricultural land values are generally highest in the east central region, followed by the southeast region. Cropland and hayland are the dominant land uses in these regions, which contain the most productive land in South Dakota. The lowest average land values are found in the northwest and southwest regions, where rangeland is the predominant land use.
In each region, per acre values are highest for irrigated land, followed in descending order by nonirrigated cropland, hayland or tame pasture, and native rangeland. Within each region, there is substantial variation in per acre land values by use and land productivity (figures 2 and 3).
Nonirrigated cropland values in South Dakota averaged $4,249 per acre in 2013, a 37.8% increase from one year earlier. Average values of nonirrigated cropland vary from $6,828 in the east-central to $3,580 in the central region and $792 per acre in the northwest region (figure 2).
South Dakota hayland values averaged $2,285 per acre in 2013, a 30% increase from one year earlier. Average values of hayland vary from $4,196 in the southeast to $610 per acre in the northwest.
In 2013, the value of South Dakota native rangeland averaged $909 per acre, a 23.3% increase from one year earlier. The average value of tame pasture was $1,542 per acre, a 26.6% increase. Native rangeland is concentrated in the western and south-central regions of South Dakota, while tame pasture is concentrated in the central and eastern regions.
Average rangeland values are highest in the east-central and southeast regions ($2,765 and $2,308 per acre, respectively) and lowest in the southwest and northwest regions ($529 and $444 per acre, respectively). In other regions average rangeland values vary from $1,759 in the northeast region to $994 per acre in the south central region.
Tame pasture values in each region were higher, but followed a similar pattern with average values varying from $3,176 in the east-central region to $523 per acre in the northwest region.
Click here for the complete article.
A real South Dakota Youth Deer Hunting experience for physically-challenged including wheelchair enabled adolescents ages 12-18. Dean Rasmussen and his neighbors in Clark, SD are providing access to prime deer hunting land for ten youths who have physical limitations, including wheelchair enabled, on September 13-15, 2013. This is a first come first served opportunity for participants. Hunters will receive a free guided deer hunting adventure on private land in prime deer hunting territory near Clark, South Dakota.
There is no cost for eligible participants who will receive:
- Get acquainted session with host Dean Rasmussen at the Clark hunting lodge.
- Afternoon target shoot (rifles and shooting supplies are available.)
- Evening cook-out.
- Overnight accommodations provided.
- Pre-dawn coffee and rolls at the meeting lodge.
- Each hunter and their guardian (required) are escorted by guides to the field in separate 4X4 vehicles.
- Guides accompany each hunting party to custom ground-level deer blinds and assists as needed in the taking of one deer.
- Noon lunch break in Clark, SD and return to blinds if necessary.
Participants must provide:
- All hunters must be accompanied by a guardian.
- Transportation to and from Clark, SD.
- Proof of Youth Hunter Safety course taken.
- A valid youth Big Game deer license. Cost is $5.00 through www.sdgfp.info.
- At least one item of orange colored apparel is required to be worn.
Dean and his associates will provide and require a signed waiver of responsibility typical of the type used at hunting lodges throughout South Dakota. Please contact Dean Rasmussen at 605-233-0331 to RESERVE YOUR SPACE in the PDR DISABLED YOUTH DEER HUNT.
While growth for the Rural Mainstreet economy remains healthy, it slowed a bit in July, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in a 10-state area, prepared by Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.
The Rural Mainstreet Index, which ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, slipped to 57.3 from June’s 60.5, though still well ahead of last July’s 47.3.
“Last year at this time, the drought was having a significant negative impact on the Rural Mainstreet economy. This year, ample moisture has boosted the rural economy and the banker’s economic outlook,” said Ernie Goss, economics professor at Creighton University.
The survey, which polls bankers on a variety of economic conditions affecting agriculture, found that the farmland-price index declined for the seventh time in eight months, falling to 58.2 from June’s 58.4.
Though the farmland-price index has been above growth neutral since February 2010, lower farm commodity prices and expected declines in farm income are slowing growth in farmland prices, Goss notes.
He also expects farmland price growth to continue to weaken as a stronger U.S. dollar weighs on agriculture commodity prices.
As for projected 2013 farm income, bankers surveyed expect farm income to be down by 3% from 2012. Approximately 59.6% of bank CEOs expect farm income to be down from 2012, while only 19.5% anticipate an increase in farm income and the remaining 20.9% expected no change.
Farm equipment sales also softened for July, with an index of 50.0, down from June’s 53.2.
“Farmers are getting increasingly cautious regarding economic conditions. This has been reflected in declines in our equipment-sales index and in the stock prices of agriculture equipment producers,” Goss said.
Bankers’ expectations for the economy six months out also fell to 56.6 from 60.0 in June, potentially due to the farm bill in limbo.
“While healthy crop conditions have fortified the economic outlook, recent weaker than expected agriculture commodity prices have lowered that outlook,” Goss said. And, more than three-fourths, or 77.9%, of bankers think that Congressional passage of a new farm bill is important or crucial to the Rural Mainstreet economy.
The survey takes into account responses from breadbasket states Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Published on July 22, 2013 by Dakota Farmer