Murray Wise Ag Notes.

Dec. 31 is coming: Make sure your succession plan accounts for possible increases in the estate tax

May 14, 2012

Farmers have always loved their land and sought to keep it in the family for generations.But there may be one objective that’s even more important: Preserving the wealth created by that land for future generations.

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It's a great time to buy farmland, but it's a great time to sell it, too

May 3, 2012

As I write this, American diplomats are dealing with the awkward situation of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who got crossways with Chinese authorities and took temporary asylum in the U.S. embassy.

So what does that have to do with farmland? Not much -- at least, not directly. Neither does North Korea’s recent missile test. Or the advance of the U.S. stock market. Or tensions in the Mideast.

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Update on Murray Wise Associates Foundation Scholarships

April 20, 2012

The Murray Wise Associates Foundation faced a quandary a couple of weeks ago when we were short on scholarship applicants just a couple of days before the deadline for applications. In fact, we had more scholarships to award than we had candidates. Read more

Below-market leases: "It looked good at the time"

April 10, 2012

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an owner of farmland who’s ready to sell his land but can’t -- simply because he’s saddled with a long-term lease that makes it impossible to get what would otherwise be a fair market price.

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Selling the farm isn't always as easy as it looks

March 26, 2012

When there’s a lot of demand for an asset -- like there is currently for farmland -- it’s easy to get the idea that selling it is a cinch. So it’s tempting for a seller to assume he can do it himself, or hire the lowest-cost broker around to handle the transaction.

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The really BIG change in farmland nobody's talking about -- yet

March 19, 2012

Farmland prices in Iowa rose by an average of 23.7 percent in the last 12 months, and that’s what passes for a slowdown these days. (The numbers came from the semiannual survey by the Iowa Farm & Land Chapter of the Realtors Land Institute.)

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Border Valley Trading: Leading the way in greening American agriculture

March 14, 2012

The agriculture industry feeds not only our nation, but much of the rest of the world, at reasonable prices. Naturally, that requires a lot of natural resources, and the industry sometimes gets criticized by environmentalists. But an increasing number of farmers and related businesses are seeking ways to reduce their energy use and carbon footprint.

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Sometimes, a record price for ag land is just about the manure

March 12, 2012


Dairy Today reports that Indiana is tightening manure regulations for dairy and beef cattle producers. Starting July 1, producers with 300 or more dairy or beef cattle will be required to have 180 days of manure storage -- a 50 percent increase from the current requirement of 120 days. Dairy Today also reported that Indiana will reduce the phosphorous limit over the next seven years.

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Buying farmland: It's still about the "business case"

February 27, 2012

In most well-run businesses, a new investment usually begins with development of a business case -- a thought process that analyzes the cost of the investment, the capital requirements, the marketplace, the expected cash flow, and the return on investment. Read more

Those "golden waves of grain" are golder than gold

February 23, 2012


Many folks consider gold a measuring stick for evaluating prices on farmland, and there's some reason for that. As pointed out by Landowner recently, gold historically has a strong 85% correlation to Illinois and farmland. In a recent update, the newsletter noted that despite the much-discussed rise in farmland prices, land remains a bargain relative to gold.

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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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