89th annual Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference a success

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The 89th Annual Iowa State University Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference, the longest-running conference at Iowa State, was held on May 18, 2016 at the Scheman Building. This year’s conference was organized by assistant professor of economics, Wendong Zhang.

Over 280 farm managers, rural appraisers, real estate brokers, ag lenders and others attended this year’s conference, with 191 attendees participating in the survey of land and commodity price predictions, which projects the Iowa farmland market will continue to soften and commodity prices will be stagnant.

The conference featured discussions on six topics, with ISU Extension and Outreach researchers having a strong presence throughout the event. The overall theme was issues with implications for soil management and land valuation. The topics of conversation for the conference included:

  • Evaluating Hunting Leases: Implications for recreational land values. Presented by Tom Steen, the Hunting Lease Network, Farmers National Company
  • Global Economic Outlook: What does a slowing China and a strong U.S. dollar mean for U.S. agriculture? Presented by Nathan Kauffman, assistant vice president, Omaha Branch executive and economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Panel Discussion on Current and Future Cash Rents in Iowa by three agricultural lenders and farm managers. Moderated by Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State University. Panelists included Jim Knuth from Farm Credit Service of America, Scott Neff from Wells Fargo Bank and Mike Downey from Hertz Farm Management
  • Excessive Spring Rain Will Be More Frequent (except this year): Weather tools to manage it. Presented by Chris Anderson, assistant director Climate Science Group at Iowa State University
  • Soil Fertility Management with Tight Crop Production Margins. Presented by John Sawyer, professor and extension specialist in soil fertility and nutrient management at Iowa State University
  • Cover Crops, Wetlands and Conservation Drainage: Why we need to adopt and how many acres are needed. Presented by Matt Helmers, professor and extension agricultural engineer in agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University
2016 Estimated Land and Commodity Prices

(Released May 2016)