Capital Agricultural Property Services (CAPS)

Capital Agricultural Property Services (CAPS) offers farm management to all types of property owners and investors nationwide. CAPS real estate professionals provide brokerage services for farms for sale via private treaty or auction, as well as buyer broker representation. CAPS’ offices and associates are strategically located in the prime agricultural regions of the U. S. giving us a unique perspective and skill set to help landowners meet their goals and objectives. In 2016, CAPS celebrated its 30th year as an agricultural leader in farmland real estate sales and property management.

CAPS now offers Live Online Auction services in partner with Proxibid.

Recent healthcare guidelines have changed how some auctions can be conducted, so CAPS has advanced their auctions to include online auction bidding.  This allows for a safe and easy way of bidding on farm property.  Check back for announcements of upcoming auctions.

Farm Industry News and Updates

The Ag Economy Barometer declined 20 points in May to 158 which is the lowest reading since September 2020. Both principal sub-indices, the Index of Current Conditions and Index of Futures Expectations, declined also. Reflecting expectations for a strong crop sector, two-thirds of corn and soybean producers expect farmland cash rental rates to rise in 2022 compared to 2021. Read the Full Report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released 2021 corn and soybean supply balance sheets for the first time in the May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. In the report, the market year average (MYA) prices for 2021 are projected at $5.70 per bushel for corn and $13.85 per bushel for soybean. The 2021 projections are high relative to historical prices. We estimated gross revenue and returns for corn and soybeans on high-productivity farmland in central Illinois using these 2021 MYA projections. At those prices, returns for corn and soybeans will be at record levels, similar to returns from 2010 to 2012. Access Report

Carbon markets offer both economic and environmental value to farmers. During the 2021 Top Producer Summit and Trust In Food Symposium, three sessions covered carbon markets and carbon sequestration. To dig into the great information shared by farmers, industry experts and more, check out the the webinars at this link.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) states that a new report from Soil Health Partnership (SHP) details the financial impact of conservation tillage and cover crop usage among Midwest corn and soybean growers. The project was done in collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund and the accounting firm K•Coe Isom. To access the report, go to: Achieving Profitability with On-Farm Conservation | Soil Health Partnership

The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer for February was released March 2. Ongoing strength in ag commodity prices and farm income continue to support producers’ perspective on current conditions while concerns about possible policy changes affecting agriculture and eroding confidence in future growth in ag trade continue to weigh on producers’ future expectations. Read the report.

Farmers are increasingly concerned about the potential impact of climate change on their operations but also dubious of carbon markets that would pay to sequester carbon in the soil. According to the annual Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, their skepticism stands in contrast to President Biden’s goal of creating new sources of revenue for farmers while his administration pushes American agriculture to be the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases. Click to view the Article and the Summary Report.

The University of Illinois sponsored a series of webinars in December to discuss where the agriculture sector is heading for 2021 and how to manage in such unprecedented times. The format of each webinar will consisted of 30 minutes of presentation and 30 minutes for Q&A.  The FarmDoc presentations and summaries can be found at: 2020 Virtual Illinois Farm Economic Summit.

The year 2020 has been filled with unique challenges. The coronavirus pandemic impacted farmers from coast to coast while specific weather events brought trouble to different regions. As they reflect on the growing season, the XtremeAg team of farmers identified the biggest challenge of 2020 on their farm. See the list.

Purdue ag economists Nathanael Thompson and James Mintert discussed the USDA’s November Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reports, providing key changes in the USDA’s corn and soybean balance sheet, implications on the ag trade outlook and marketing strategies, and updated potential profitability estimates for 2021.The recording of the webinar and the slides used during the presentation are available here.

Farmer sentiment improved markedly in August as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose to a reading 26 points higher than a month earlier. The improvement in producer sentiment was the result of improved perceptions regarding current conditions and, especially, better expectations for the future. The survey, released September 1, was conducted from August 17-21, 2020. The results can be viewed at Find the audio podcast discussion for insight on this month’s sentiment at Or download the report in PDF format.

Currently, U.S. corn production is estimated at a record 15.278 billion bushels, with an average yield of 181.8 bushels per acre, a jump of 14.4 bushels on the year, and harvested area of 84.0 million acres, steady with June and 3% higher than a year ago. Soybeans are seen at 4.425 billion bushels, with a record average yield of 53.3 bushels per acre, 5.9 bushels above the previous year, and harvested area of 83.0 million acres, unchanged from June and up 11% on the year. See the full report.

NOTICE: Residents in at least seven states are receiving unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The seeds are contained within white plastic packages that often are labeled as jewelry, and may have Chinese writing on them. Recipients are asked to neither plant the seeds nor open sealed packages. Instead, contact your state department of agriculture. Click here for additional information.

The Farm Progress Virtual Experience will merge the best of the top two farm shows in the country to bring a unique experience directly to farmers. Two major farm shows are off the calendar for 2020, and to fill this gap Farm Progress is launching the first ever Farm Progress Virtual Experience, or FPVX. This information-packed event will be powered by Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days and run three days, Sept. 15 to 17. Read more.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) reports that trust in America’s farmers and ranchers remains high amid the devastating blow delivered by the COVID-19 pandemic. A new AFBF poll shows 84% of Americans trust the nation’s farmers and the same overwhelming majority support financial assistance from the government for farmers struggling to keep from going under because of the pandemic. “The results of the survey indicate a growing understanding of how important a stable food supply is to the health and well-being of our nation,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.

Farmer sentiment improved slightly in May after falling sharply in both March and April. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer reading in May was 103, up 7 points from the April reading of 96. The barometer’s small improvement left the gauge nearly 40 percent below its February peak of 168, as COVID-19 continues to impact sentiment. A breakdown on the May Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer can be viewed at Find the audio podcast discussion for insight on this month’s sentiment at Or download the report.

As more states continue shelter-in-place measures to protect communities, state departments of agriculture are working to keep Americans fed. Click to read the 10 items published by the NASDA.

Declines in agricultural commodity prices and concerns about the coronavirus crisis impact on the U.S. economy and agricultural sector weighed heavily on farmer sentiment in March. This month’s decline in the barometer erased the sentiment improvement that took place this past fall and winter and leaves the index unchanged from its September 2019 reading. The Ag Economy Barometer is generated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ survey responses. This month’s survey was conducted from March 16-20, 2020 as the coronavirus crisis escalated in the U.S. and around the world. See the report.

A new coalition of 21 farm groups has come together to help advance the discussions on sustainability and climate. American Farm Bureau is part of that coalition, named Farmers for a Sustainable Future. AFBF senior director of congressional relations Andrew Walmsley says it gives ag the opportunity to be at the table. “It’s a recognition that we want to be part of the discussion….” Agriculture accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions globally but in the U.S., agriculture accounts for only 9% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA. Read more.

Each year, FFA chapters around the country celebrate National FFA Week, February 22-29. It’s a time to share what FFA is and the impact it has on members every day. What better way to show your support of FFA than to get involved in FFA Week? Whether it’s in person, on the phone or via social media, be sure to share your FFA stories during #FFAweek! Read more.

On January 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army fulfilled yet another promise of President Trump by finalizing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to define “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). “President Trump is restoring the rule of law and empowering Americans by removing undue burdens and strangling regulations from the backs of our productive farmers, ranchers, and rural land-owners. The days are gone when the Federal Government can claim a small farm pond on private land as navigable waters,” Secretary Perdue said. Read more

For many of us, the new year is a time to reflect on the past year and consider what may lie ahead. Here is a list of the 11 biggest issues facing agriculture in 2020.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcomes everyone to his podcast – “The Sonnyside of the Farm.” Born and raised on a family farm in middle Georgia, Secretary Perdue is an agriculturalist through and through – having worked as a veterinarian, owning his own grain business, serving as Governor of Georgia and now serving as a member of President Trump’s cabinet as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He’ll be talking to everyone a wide variety of experts about the issues facing America’s farmers, ranchers, producers and foresters today. From USDA or out in the country, tune in the first Friday of every month to hear from Secretary Perdue himself.

Another jump in the Purdue and CME Group Ag Economy Barometer has that metric now tied for the best of 2019. Sentiment towards the ag economy improved in several areas, according to the 400 U.S. producers of crops and livestock who were surveyed in the middle of November. Read the details.

U.S. agricultural exports are projected to total $134.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2019 (October 2018–September 2019), while agricultural imports are expected to total $129.3 billion, according to ERS’s recent Outlook for U.S. Agricultural trade. The $5.2 billion surplus projected for FY 2019 is the lowest since FY 2006, when the U.S. exported $4.6 billion more in agricultural goods than it imported. Unlike overall U.S. trade in goods and services, U.S. trade in the agricultural sector consistently runs at a surplus. Full article.

The seven issues the U.S. wants China to resolve for there to be a trade agreement: Politico Report.

Farmers should care most about “providing safe, healthy, abundant and affordable food,” said a majority of respondents to a Cargill survey. Yet those same respondents would prefer their food come from smaller/specialty, local or organic farms-which can’t necessarily compete on cost. Read more about the survey.

Agricultural producers reported they were not able to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres in 2019, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Of those prevented plant acres, more than 73 percent were in 12 Midwestern states, where heavy rainfall and flooding this year has prevented many producers from planting mostly corn, soybeans and wheat. To find more information, view the August 12 Report.

The seven issues the U.S. wants China to resolve for there to be a trade agreement: Politico Report

Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 2019, describes trends in economic, structural, resource, and environmental indicators in the agriculture sector. The indicators covered in this report provide assessments of important changes in U.S. agriculture—industry development; environmental effects; and implications for economic, social, and environmental sustainability. For developments related to conservation in the 2018 Farm Act, see Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Highlights and Implications—Conservation. In addition, ERS plans to update some of the estimates in this report with data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture once micro-level data needed to do so are available. Click here for the ERS Publication.

The National Corn Growers Association – in partnership with the Honey Bee Health Coalition – is releasing new best management practices (BMPs) to protect bees and other pollinators in and around corn fields.The BMPs presented in the NCGA’s new guide identify potential effects of agricultural practices on bees at each stage of production and recommend ways to mitigate those impacts. The BMPs presented in the NCGA’s new guide identify potential effects of agricultural practices on bees at each stage of production and recommend ways to mitigate those impacts. Link to guide.

The African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in China and in many other countries is wreaking havoc on the international pork industry. Fortunately, ASF is not in the United States at this time, but the possibility of it or another foreign animal disease (FAD), means that American farmers must take the necessary steps to protect their farms and the domestic pork industry. Preventing this from occurring requires immediate action such as those outlined in this resource.

The Ag Economy Barometer provides a sense of the agricultural economy’s health with an index value. The index is based on a survey of 400 agricultural producers on economic sentiment each month. Quarterly, the index is accompanied by an in-depth survey of 100 agriculture and agribusiness thought leaders. Click here for the June 4 Report.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funds to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification. Applications for fiscal 2019 funding are due Oct. 31, 2019. See more details.

See video highlights from USDA Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue speaking at the Commodity Classic on March 1, 2019. This is a “behind the scenes” video that shows how political and government actions affect farmers. Watch Video.

CropLife America praises the passing of a long-term Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA 4) reauthorization that will strengthen and improve pesticide registration through 2023. More Details.

Commodity Classic is a trade show where exhibitors showcase the latest technology to thousands of farmers. The author’s parameter for making his “New and Groovy” list for 2019 is simple: What are new solutions that can help farmers get more economic return on their investment? The following is not all-inclusive, but here are some products that may be of some help in 2019 and beyond.

Midwest Attorney Clint Cutler has fielded calls recently from crop producers who are not generating enough money to be able to pay back loans. “The big question is whether we’re going to see a pullback by lenders in terms of supplying the operating loan for the year,” he says. He offers six tips for dealing with lenders on a loan workout. View the 6 Tips

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rebounded sharply in January to a reading of 143, a 16-point improvement compared to December and the highest reading since June 2018. Read Report.

Successful Farming offers 10 predictions for farmers for 2019, stating it could be another rough year, or it could be the needed turnaround. Watch the video. Or read the article with more details.

Farmers and ranchers take home just 11.3 cents from every dollar that consumers spend on their Holiday dinner meals, according to the annual Thanksgiving edition of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Farmer’s Share publication. The popular Thanksgiving Farmer’s Share compares the retail food price of traditional holiday dinner items to the amount the farmer receives for each item they grow or raise. Download the Farmers’ Share Fact Sheet.

The Purdue University Center for Food and Agricultural Business has announced its seminars and events for 2019. The Center offers experts who teach business concepts in the classroom or via a video education series. Find out more

Net cash farm income and net farm income are two conventional measures of farm sector profitability and the forecasted declines are largely due to higher production expenses, which if realized, would reduce net income. However, the 2018 forecast does not include payments under the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), because it is too early to tell how many farm producers will complete MFP enrollment and receive payment in 2018. Read more.

For most farmers, 2018 is looking a lot like the four previous years — low prices for their crops, dairy and beef — but with a twist: They got caught up this year in a trade war. Prices for commodities, particularly soybeans, have dropped throughout the summer after China imposed 25 percent tariffs on the crop in retaliation. Until the trade war, China was the top buyer of American soybeans, spending some $13 billion on nearly 60 percent of the crop each year. The tariffs are just one part of a “perfect storm” facing farmers this year, Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, told a crowd of about 200 gathered Tuesday night for the annual dinner of the Woodruff County Farm Bureau. Read more.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has authorized up to $12 billion in a “Trade Retaliation Mitigation” (farm tariff) aid package for 2018 to help offset the financial impacts resulting from ongoing trade disputes with China, Mexico, Canada and other countries. The aid package will include direct payments to producers of affected farm commodities, purchases of surplus commodities for food and feeding programs, and trade promotion programs. The financial aid package will be administered in a manner that is consistent with World Trade Organization requirements and will include three components.

The Ag Economy Barometer rebounded in August to a reading of 129 after falling to 117 in July. Although the producer sentiment index increased by 12 points in August, producer sentiment remains well below its late spring readings of 141 in May and 143 in June. The shift in producer sentiment occurred primarily because producer’s perception of current conditions improved as the Index of Current Conditions increased to a reading of 121 following a dip to 99 in July. The Index of Future Expectations also rose in August but the increase was modest, rising to 132 just 6 points above its July reading. See full report.

Join the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture on Wednesday, December 19 at 9:00 a.m. (EDT) for a free 2019 Ag Outlook with agricultural economists James Mintert and Michael Langemeier. Previous free webinars are also available via this link.

Since 2014, non-land costs of producing corn on high-productivity farmland in central Illinois declined from $617 per acre in 2014 to $569 per acre in 2017, a decrease of $48 per acre.  Three costs – fertilizer, drying, fuel and oil – contributed more than the $48 per acre to the total non-land cost decrease, meaning that other costs increased from 2014 to 2017. Levels of fertilizer, drying, and fuel costs are highly related to energy prices. Energy prices have been rising in recent months.  Rising energy prices could signal the end to declines in non-land production costs for corn. Read more.

Ag producer sentiment improved slightly during June as the Ag Economy Barometer index rose to a reading of 143 compared to 141 a month earlier. The modest rise in the Ag Economy Barometer, which is based on a nationwide survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers each month, was underpinned by a rise in the Index of Current Conditions, which rose to 138 compared to a reading of 132 a month earlier. The Index of Future Expectations was essentially unchanged with a reading of 146 in June vs. 145 in May.

The relationship between the borrower and lender has always been known to be an integral factor in the agricultural / agribusiness loan approval process. However, the recent development of technologies that enable lenders to gather data on a loan applicant via an online application has led the distance between lenders and loan applicants to grow significantly. Read more.

Falsely representing products as certified USDA organic violates the law and federal organic regulations. Fraudulent certificates may have been created and used without the knowledge of the operator or the certifying agent named in a certificate. The NOP has compiled a list of information about fraudulent certificates that have been publicly announced into an easy-to-search spreadsheet. The complete story provides access to the Fraudulent Certificate spreadsheet.

The USDA released the first projections for U.S. corn and soybean supply and demand in the 2018-19 marketing year on May 10. Forecasts for both crops indicate lower ending stocks next marketing year with a substantial decrease in corn ending stocks. Read more.

Whether involved in agriculture or not, here are a few precautions to assure that your data is safe if your phone ever goes missing or gets stolen. First of all, always have a lock on your phone and make sure your app downloads are password protected. You should also regularly back-up your phone so you don’t lose any precious photos, contacts, or files. But if your phone does get stolen, here are five things you can do to prevent any further problems or potentially get it back. Read more.

Glitz-and-glitter agricultural technology can mask the basics for making optimal chemical applications that don’t stray into neighboring crop fields, orchards, or rural homes. Now is an excellent time to prep sprayers and form a spray-application strategy for 2018. Click to find 19 tips from product development at Precision Laboratories, that will help make this year a good spraying season.

Special Assistant to the White House for agriculture, agricultural trade, and food assistance, Ray Starling, took the stage at the Ag and Food Policy Summit March 21 in Washington, D.C. He summarized the perspective of the White House on trade, the Farm Bill and renewable fuels. Read more.

U.S. farm sector capital expenditures continue to adjust to declines in net farm income and net cash income since 2013. Real net farm income has declined approximately 51 percent since its most recent peak in 2013, while real net cash income has declined approximately 29 percent since its most recent peak in 2012. Similar to past periods of declining margins, U.S. farms have responded to the declines in income by reducing capital expenditures. This article examines trends in capital expenditures and compares capital expenditures to capital consumption.

The ABA and Farmer Mac Agricultural Lender Survey, which is conducted twice per year, is a joint effort to provide a look at the agricultural economy and market forces from the unique perspective of ag lenders. The first joint survey was conducted in December 2016 and expanded upon data collected by Farmer Mac in prior surveys. Read the latest report released in November.

Farmer’s Business Network, Inc., analyzed more than 7,500 seed labels, 2,550 unique genetic varieties from 110 seed companies, and 10,000 seed price invoices, and released the industry’s first-ever seed relabeling analysis. Comprising at least a $2.5 billion segment of the US corn and soybean market, Farmers Business Network analysts set out to study the impact of relabeling on American farms and to add transparency to farmers’ arguably most important purchasing decision. Read more.

With serious economic challenges facing agriculture, underscored by even deeper concerns in some commodity sectors, the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors outlined the organization’s key objectives for the 2018 farm bill. After its meeting in Washington, D.C., the AFBF board sent its goals and recommendations to leadership on the Senate and House agriculture committees in anticipation of the upcoming farm bill debate. See list.

Putting a price on farm data. On a farm, land, seed, water, crop inputs, farm machinery and other such items have a price that is easy to quantify. But the data generated by working the land with those items has not fixed price. So there is high demand for access to that information. Read more.

The Purdue Food and Agribusiness Quarterly Review is now available. The six articles in this issue were written by faculty in Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business, as well as faculty from the University of Sao Paulo. These authors have sought out leading business research, strategy and insights and tailored them to food and agricultural business. For example, in the “Is Cash King?” article, the author states: “In the economic downturn of the agriculture industry, it might be surprising to learn that it could be time to start spending that cash hoard. This is true for at least three reasons…” Read Issue.

Soybean acres are predicted to increase 5.5% in 2017, according to the latest data from USDA. At the agency’s 93rd Agricultural Outlook Forum, which is taking place Feb. 23-24 in Washington DC, Robert Johansson, USDA Chief Economist, shared an outlook for prices, acres, farmer sentiment and more. The outlook for prices is slightly higher. See the USDA’s price expectations for the crop year ahead.

Producer sentiment inched higher during April as the  Ag Economy Barometer increased to 130. The latest result for the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which is based on a monthly survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers, was slightly higher than March’s 124 reading.

One of the most promising areas for UAVs is agriculture, where drones offer the potential for addressing several major challenges. With the world’s population projected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, experts expect agricultural consumption to increase by nearly 70 percent over the same time period. Agricultural producers must embrace revolutionary strategies for producing food, increasing productivity, and making sustainability a priority. Drones are part of the solution, along with closer collaboration between governments, technology leaders, and industry. See more.

The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund assists veterans with advancing their careers in agriculture by giving them access to funding, resources and support services. The Homegrown by Heroes label is proudly displayed on products grown, raised and produced by hardworking farmer veterans who have chosen to serve their nation twice – once by defending it and again by feeding it. Find out more about Homegrown by Heroes.

According to the Washington Post, the bees with which most Americans are familiar – the ones which pollinate crops on the mainland and make honey – are doing just fine. Data released by the USDA this year indicates there were 2.66 million commercial honey-producing bee colonies in the U.S. That’s down slightly from the 2.74 million colonies in 2014, but is still significantly higher than it was in 2006, when colony collapse disorder was first documented. Read more.

New York Times: There is much to like about small, local farms and their influence on what we eat. But if we are to sustainably deal with problems presented by population growth and climate change, we need to look to the farmers who grow a majority of the country’s food and fiber. Read article.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hosted a roundtable of young and beginning farmers at Iowa State University on August 17. As the men and women shared their stories and concerns, several themes stuck out. Here are seven of the biggest challenges facing young and beginning farmers. Top 7 Concerns

Farmers who employ Internet-connected and precision farming equipment should be very mindful of the way they configure their devices, the FBI warned in a public statement advisory at the end of March. The Bureau, together with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), issued the note as an alert to the growing security threat. The FBI is particularly warning against data breaches that may expose farming data saved with various companies or on cloud accounts. Read more.

Agriculture Data: Putting Farmers in the Driver’s Seat – Farmers collect valuable data every time their equipment passes through fields and that information will fuel tomorrow’s innovation. But currently the potential of this resource is not being fully realized. The Agricultural Data Coalition, or ADC, is dedicated to helping farmers get the most out of their newest asset. Our mission is focused on designing, creating and managing a central repository where farmers can store their information and oversee how it is accessed. Data farming will be key to agriculture’s future, and farmers should be in control. Visit the website for more details.

CAPS’ Executive Manager Tim Harris gave a presentation on farmland leases to land owners. The talk has been broken into three video clips, Land Lease Basics, Negotiation Tips and Rental  Rates. The clips can be viewed on the CAPS YouTube Channel.