Farmers National Company says there are some questions abounding in the current farmland market. There is legitimate worry that the negative financial situation will finally drive land prices lower. Farm and ranch lands make up 82% of the total assets owned by American agriculture.
“At Farmers National Company, we’re seeing an uptick in land sales as more families and inheritors want to sell now,” said Randy Dickhut, senior vice president of real estate operations. “Within our 28-state service area, we’re also seeing more landowners coming to us to talk about marketing and selling their land, as evidenced by the total volume of land for sale which is up 21%.”
The company says overall farmland values have held up well over the years in spite of lower commodity prices and farm income compared to just five years ago. However, there are questions looming ahead for the market.
“Even though the rate of bankruptcies and forced farmland sales is low, there are expectations that those numbers will rise over the next year as farmers’ cash flows continue to be stressed.”
Dickhut said there has also been an increase in the number of “quiet sales,” in which neighbors quietly sell their land to other neighbors without advertising it as being for sale.”
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