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.

Farm Industry News and Updates

A Purdue study reports what farmers believe are keys to their success.

See 2017 crop estimates for corn and soybeans for 7 states: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota.

17 Scouting Apps for Precision Agriculture. Access the List

According to a Farm Journal Media survey of more than 500 farmers, they’ve identified more than a dozen ways they are reducing or economizing input costs in 2017. Seven in particular were the most popular. Read more

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) has published the agricultural industry’s first-ever sustainability report, which highlights sustainable practices happening on farms and ranches across the country. It demonstrates how farmers and ranchers are seeking and implementing practices that allow them to better protect resources while efficiently producing crops. Ag Sustainability Report

Four Reasons Why We Aren’t Likely to See a Replay of the 1980’s Farm Crisis. This Iowa State University Agricultural Policy Review article presents the economic and legal reasons why the current farm downturn is unlikely to slide into a collapse. Read Report.

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.

The number of farms in the U.S. for 2016 is estimated at 2.06 million, down 8,000 farms from 2015, according to USDA data released today. Total land in farms, at 911 million acres, decreased 1 million acres from 2015. The average farm size for 2016 is 442 acres, up one acre from the previous year. See the report.

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.

There are always a number of important issues to consider at the start of a year. More importantly, the questions facing production agriculture in 2017 seem to be more critical than years earlier. With that said, here is Farm Forum’s list of the 16 key questions facing production agriculture in 2017.

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.

From an anti-regulation, anti-establishment President to mega mergers to murder prompted by chemical drift, 2016 was an unprecedented one for the ag community. Here are the top stories from this past year, compiled by the Successful Farming team.

U.S. farmers will plant a record 84.6 million acres of soybeans in 2017 – up 900,000 acres from this year and enough to assure the second crop in a row above 4 billion bushels – while reining in corn acreage by 5%, projected the Agriculture Department, based on conditions in November. Read more

A tight supply of corn has the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture considering imports from the U.S. Northstar Commodity chief market analyst Mark Schultz says Brazil has harvested a poor second crop. “That is the corn that is planted (directly) after they harvest the soybeans. Drought has reduced the crop size, creating a short corn supply that’s escalated prices locally. Because of the pressure domestic livestock producers are feeling, Schultz says Brazil will open its doors to as much as 1.5 million metric tons of GMO corn. Argentina and Paraguay have been filling that void, but it is possible Brazil may eventually turn to the U.S. Read more

What’s Ahead for Agriculture Under Trump? For the past eight years, many farmers have chafed under what’s seen as regulatory overreach under the Obama Administration. Farm groups and Trump supporters expect that to be pulled back after the New York real estate mogul was elected the 45th president. Read more.

Seven Things Farmers Should Know About Trump’s Win: The agriculture community wasted no time considering what comes next; many industry groups and prognosticators have already weighed in on what priorities agriculture should pursue moving forward in light of not only the presidential election, but the implications of various down-ballot initiatives. Here’s a summary of what happened and how the industry is reacting.

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer is a nationwide measure of the health of the U.S. agricultural economy. On the first Tuesday of each month, 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 will be accompanied by an in-depth survey of 100 agriculture and agribusiness thought leaders. Access Barometer

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

Nearly 90 percent of Americans have a favorable view of farmers, and 92 percent said it was important to provide them with federal funding, according to a new national poll released today.  Furthermore, positive marks cut across party lines, showing that a strong farm policy is a bipartisan issue. “Americans overwhelmingly like farmers and support the programs that protect them,” explained Jon McHenry, vice president of North Star Opinion Research, the polling firm that explored the general public’s views on farmers, farm policy and crop insurance. See Poll Results.

Prudential Agricultural Investments has released its second quarter market report on agriculture and timberland investments. Agricultural commodities included range from pecans and sugar cane in the Eastern Region, to row crops in the Central Region, to nuts and a wide range of fruits in the Western Region, and citrus in both the east and the west. Read the Report.

A recent survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) reveals that 71% of farmers are interested in having access to a central repository where they can store and control their data. Of those surveyed, 82% say having a voice in the management of that repository is important. Access the Survey.

Recently, the Supreme Court in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., set a precedent that landowners may challenge the Corps’ jurisdictional determination specifying that a piece of property contains a “water of the United States.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association filed an amicus brief in support of Hawkes. NCBA President Tracy Brunner said this is a major victory for landowners across the country. Read more.

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.

Farms are getting a bit bigger, but there are less of them, according to the USDA’s annual Farm and Land in Farms report. The U.S. was down 18,000 farms in 2015 compared to 2014. With an estimated 2.07 million farms in the U.S., the land in farms fell 1 million acres totaling 912 million acres in farmland. More details and link to full report.

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.

Prudential Agricultural Investments has just released its 2015 4th quarter market update, which provides an overview of U.S. agriculture and timber markets. The newly redesigned newsletter covers commodities across the major growing regions of the country. 4th Qtr 2015 Market Update.

Biofuels consumed under the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) have reduced U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 354 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent since 2008, according to a new analysis conducted by California-based Life Cycle Associates. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which sponsored the study, said the findings have important implications for the pending final rule for 2014–2016 RFS volumes. Read analysis.

A wet spring and low prices kept many farmers from planting all the ground they wanted in 2015. Farm Futures’ first survey of 2016 planting intentions shows growers planning expansion in the year ahead. Summary of survey results.

In recent years, farmers and ranchers have enjoyed profitable times, but many experts, including the USDA, are predicting stress ahead in the ag economy. The American Bankers Association is helping producers prepare by providing key financial considerations. To help producers prepare financially for the changing agricultural economy, ABA has prepared a list of tips.

Agricultural producers rented and farmed 353.8 million acres of farmland, according to the results of the 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey results released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Of these acres, 80 percent are owned by non-farming landlords. Read more and access survey.

Sensors of various types topped the list of “15 Emerging Agriculture Technologies that Will Change the World,” according to futurist Michell Zappa. See the full list.

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.