An update yesterday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta indicated that, “When Joe Boddiford is in Atlanta, 200 miles from his Southeast Georgia farm, he can operate his irrigation systems with his smartphone. Boddiford can turn on the water to a particular set of nozzles or shut it off. He can activate an underground well or monitor the entire system. ‘That gives me a lot of peace of mind,’ says Boddiford, who grows cotton, peanuts, and corn on 2,200 acres about 60 miles from Savannah."
Last month, in its third-quarter 2016 Agricultural Credit Conditions Survey, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis indicated that, "Following a trend from recent quarterly surveys, land prices and cash rents retreated from historic highs. The average value for nonirrigated cropland in the district fell by more than 3 percent from a year earlier, according to survey respondents. Irrigated land values fell 1 percent, while ranch- and pastureland values fell 5 percent, perhaps reflecting the more recent downturn in livestock prices."
Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released the results of its 2016 Fourth Quarter Agricultural Credit Survey.
Los Angeles Times writer Geoffrey Mohan reported on the front page of the business section on Friday, December 30th that, "For food shoppers, 2016 was a back-to-the-future experience, with retail prices deflating for the first time since Lyndon Johnson was president."
In a special section of the Christmas Day edition of the Omaha World-Herald, Barbara Soderlin reported that, "The outlook may sound bleak for Nebraska’s agriculture-dependent economy as farmers wrap up the third year in a row with falling profits: The decline has economists talking about state budget cuts, rising farm loan defaults and falling land values. Main Street businesses that depend on farm spending say the picture might be dimmer, but they’re not yet turning out the lights."
Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Wednesday's Des Moines Register that, "Iowa's average farmland value declined for the third year in a row, down 5.9 percent to $7,183 an acre over the past year. It's the first time since the 1980s farm crisis that land values have fallen three straight years, according to an Iowa State University [ISU] report released Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) has recently released three separate reports that contain a large amount of relevant information that provides interesting perspective on farm structure, and other important variables impacting rural America.