The Buzz

The cost of land, the cost of drought and wheat as an educational tool.

For farmers and ranchers, it’s all about land. To this writer, it seems that most producers are always looking for it. Cropland, pastureland, CRP … it doesn’t really matter. If there is land available for sale, it’s usually going to bring top dollar.

Green wheat in spring

Prices for top-quality farmland continue to soar.

  • Tim Unruh, Salina Journal reporter, does a great job of illustrating escalating land prices in his article, “Land Rush.” In today’s market, Kansas cropland is fetching from $2,000 to $4,000 per acre, Unruh reports. Are these prices sustainable? That’s anyone’s guess. Crop yields and commodity prices staying at higher than historical averages are prompting farmers to expand, writes Unruh, who adds as sources real estate and economic experts. And as for land, well, they’re not making any more of it…
  • Less than a week after the Salina Journal article, a 75-acre tract of good quality farmland between Highland and Hiawatha in Brown County sold for $800,000, or $10,256 per acre. The tract featured 66 acres of Class II soils, and three acres of bottomland. Each of the last three years, corn yields topped 185 bushel per acre, according to locals…
  • To our knowledge, that’s the highest price per acre paid for Kansas farmland. Incidentally, that same day, a 155 acre tract about 15 miles west of the aforementioned sale was to be sold at auction but didn’t, as it did not reach a minimum bid of about $4,500 per acre. Sources tell us that the 155-acre tract featured several acres of waste and woods and simply aren’t as productive. Goes to show that farmers still can be choosy about where they invest in land…
  • From one of our favorite ag reporters is this story on the cost of last year’s drought to the state of Kansas. The pricetag? More than $1 billion, according to the Hutch News. That’s a record amount of insurance indemnity payouts, according to reporter Amy Bickel, and it’s not over. Sources she talked to say claims are still being processed, and much of southwest Kansas still in a drought, with good chances of that situation continuing…
  • Is it possible that Russia could impose another ban on wheat exports from that country? Reuters implies that not only is it possible, but likely.
  • The country’s government says Russia should not export more than 23-25 million tons of grain during the crop year. As such, it could impose protective duties from April on, when exports are likely to hit that level. A European trader says that American wheat’s competitiveness in the European market could increase significantly if Russia does indeed impose the protective duties…
  • Here at Kansas Wheat, one of our stated goals is education and outreach. As the state nears its 151st Birthday, what better way to celebrate than with healthy, wholesome homegrown bread? The Lyon County Extension office recently used a Kansas Wheat Commission-developed bread recipe in a presentation to third graders, which readily illustrates how science, math, economics and physical education. A contributor to the Emporia Gazette wrote about the demonstration, and how important it is for Kansans to learn more about the agriculture industry that makes our state great…
  • As a matter of fact, Cowley County Extension is hosting a 4-H School Enrichment program called “Wheat Science” today (Friday) at the Extension office in Winfield. The program is designed to help local school kids celebrate Kansas’ birthday, first by learning about growth, harvest and milling of wheat; then by making tortillas or bread…
  • We salute ADM mills, Arkansas City, which donated the flour for the program – the purpose of which is to encourage youth to eat more whole grain foods, according to the Winfield Daily Courier.
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2 Responses to The Buzz

  1. I’ve noticed quiet but definite signs of cooperation between Russia and the US AND the EU on a number of fronts. Could this be part of the inevitable gravitation toward Globalization, and could this be a promising ongoing development for Wheat farmers in the US, not only this year, but for the foreseeable future? If so, then might it be likely those land prices may have have some potential of not only being maintained, but perhaps raising a bit more?

    • Bill Spiegel says:

      Great question. I wish I had an intelligent answer for you, but I can say with certainty that wheat marketing is a global effort. In the U.S., agriculture is one of the economic bright spots, which is why I believe land prices are soaring. Wheat production is one of the reasons, but all grain commodities are doing very well right now. Thanks for the feedback!

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