Murray Wise Ag Notes.

Slow Market, Higher-quality Land Maintain Value

December 4, 2017

The market for midwestern agricultural land this year has been extremely slow, probably the slowest I’ve seen in 30 years. Based on a relatively small number of transactions, I am seeing higher-quality land maintain its value, while lesser-quality ground has been seeing greater declines.

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In Memory of Rick Baker

August 18, 2017

We remember with great fondness and admiration our longtime friend and Wise Ag Update editor, Rick Baker.

Rick had an amazing way with words and we will miss his presence in the pages of our newsletter. More than anything though, we will miss his friendship.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Carol and their family.

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Neighborhoods Matter

March 22, 2016

I must have seen it a thousand times. A farm sells for a high price and the owner of a nearby farm perks up. His farm, after all, has similar soil types and on the surface looks almost identical. Can he get the same price?

Maybe, maybe not. 


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Quit fretting over this year's commodity prices. This is a great time to buy farmland.

November 24, 2015

To read the headlines, you might get the idea that farmland prices are teetering on a ledge, poised for a big fall. The common script is that weak commodity prices will pull land prices down with them. So why did 160 acres of farmland in Champaign County, Illinois, sell on Nov. 18 for $13,156 per acre?

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Time to have those hard conversations about rent

September 28, 2015


Most of our day-to-day conversation lately has addressed short term questions. How big will the harvest be? What does the future hold for commodity prices? What's the direction of land prices and rents? Those are natural questions, especially this time of year when the harvest is taking shape. But most of these are factors over which we have little control in the short term.

 So let's talk about what we can control: Rent. Specifically, rental agreements based on commodity prices that no longer exist.

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Time to Buy or Time to Sell?

January 27, 2015

People are constantly asking me whether it’s a good time to buy farmland. Others want to know if it’s a good time to sell. The answer is yes to both – depending on your needs and objectives, of course. I talk about why in these two short landcasts. Happy listening!

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Helping ag students learn to value farmland

December 10, 2014

Helping ag students learn to value farmland

“What will my farm bring?”

That is one of the most difficult questions I hear from people who are trying to decide whether to offer their farmland at auction. Markets are constantly changing, and no two farms are exactly alike.

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Murray Wise in Progressive Farmer: "Still no better place for cash than farmland"

November 10, 2014

I had the privilege of speaking at length recently with Victoria G. Myers, Senior Editor of Progressive Farmer Magazine. Here's an out-take based on my comments, which appeared in the November edition. (Used by permission.)

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Making sense of recent farmland values

August 11, 2014

I've had a number of conversations recently with farmers, farmland investors, bankers and others who have been trying to interpret the recent surveys of farmland prices. And I'll have to admit, we've all been doing some serious head scratching. The USDA's Land Values 2014 Summary, released in early August, shows 2013-2014 cropland values in the Corn Belt rising across the board, with Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Ohio all reporting increases ranging from 7.0 percent (Indiana) to 9.4 percent (Iowa). Read more

A Very Special Evening

June 24, 2014

As I mentioned recently, I hesitated to write anything more about my great honor in being named the 2014 recipient of the V. Dale Cozad Entrepreneur Award. Truthfully, it seemed immodest to do so. Read more

About Murray Wise

Murray Wise founded the Westchester Group in 1986 after acquiring the Champaign, IL division of the Sandage Companies, a traditional farm management and brokerage firm…

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