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February 24, 2014  

Dear Subscriber:

Recent quotes from people much smarter than I concerning today’s farmland market.

“The farm sector is currently in excellent shape from a leverage and credit perspective;” “The issue that I worry about most, at this point, is a couple of bumper crops around the world.” Quotes by Dr. Allen Featherstone, professor of ag economics, Kansas State University in an interview by Steve Cocheo on 11.30.13 for the ABA Banking Journal.

“A plateau in farmland values is what we’re seeing going forward.” Quote by Jason Henderson, ag economist at Purdue University in a 02.14.14 article in Bloomberg written by Alan Bjerga.

“In top corn and soybean producer Iowa, benchmark farmland values finished up 3.4% for calendar 2013. But that was after falling 2.8% in the last six months of the year.” “The bank’s review of 3,500 farmland transactions in 2013 in its 4 states and it annual review of 65 benchmark farms tracked for 30 years suggest the market for farmland is leveling off and in some areas softening.” Quotes by Mark Jensen, Sr. VP at Farm Credit Services of America in a 01.15.14 article in Thomson Reuters by Christine Stebbins.

“The combination of $4.50 corn and a slight interest rate increase could result in farmland values dramatically toppling. According to internal modeling at Agribank…..this decline could reach 30%-34% in a 15 state region.”

“While 30% sounds big, that’s no more than the increase in some states in 2013 alone.” “For every $1 decline in corn prices, average district cropland values could decline by an average of $298/acre and for every 1% point increase in the 10 year Treasury rate, decline by $357/acre.” “Agribank officials term what they see ahead as a soft landing for farmland values as distinguished from the hard crash during the 1980’s.” Quotes from Feb 21 article in AgWeb written by Ed Clark.

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