Farmers National Co. Releases Northern Plains Land Market Report


Source: Farmers National Co. news release

The Northern Plains region experienced some of the worst planting conditions anywhere this past season with many unplanted or late planted acres in parts of South Dakota and elsewhere. The northern reaches had an extremely tough harvest season with snow, rain and a hard freeze that didn’t allow the harvest of beets and potatoes to be completed.

The outlook at the end of 2019 was that there would be areas and producers who would be under increased financial stress after the tough 2019 season, said Brian Mohr, area sales manager for Farmers National Company. The poor harvest in parts of North Dakota will impact farms and suppliers. South Dakota seemed to weather the storm better and Minnesota production was more normal.

What started out as a slow year in farmland sales has now picked up the pace as additional farms come on the market during the winter months. Weather and the effect of lower soybean prices as a result of the Chinese tariffs brought caution into the land market over the previous months for both sellers and buyers. The ongoing lower supply of land for sale on the market has helped support land prices as has the influx of government support payments.

The predominant sellers of ag land are inheritors or estates who have decided to sell as it is easier to divide the cash among multiple beneficiaries. A few others are deciding that now is the time to sell. But, there is still less land for sale than during the past few years as the uncertainties in the world economy cause land buyers and sellers to be cautious.

Looking ahead into the coming year, attention turns to what is going to impact the farm economy and the land market. Despite the historic late planting season, most producers will tread water another year due to the various support payments. With the current land market sitting on a plateau for the past several years, landowners are asking questions about what to do if they are thinking of selling their farm.