It was the Red River Valley’s most magnificent farmland public sale in years: several thousand acres of prime Minnesota ground for raising corn, and sugar beets. No parcel was unsold when bidding closed. The $21m paid by 15 patrons was “stunning,” mentioned Steve Dalen, who performed the sale last month. With the vendor in monetary trouble, an enormous variety of acres to dump and the US-China commerce struggle curbing grain exports, situations weren’t encouraging.
“When this public sale went off we apprehensive about collapsing the market,” mentioned Mr. Dalen, an actual property agent at Pifer’s Auctions and Realty in Moorhead. In truth, he ended up with about $4,500 an acre, effectively above the inherent worth a couple of years in the past.
Regardless of a half-decade of falling grain costs, Midwestern farmland has held a lot of its worth and has developed into the muse for a borrowing growth. Farm debt throughout the US has risen to $427bn, near quantities that preceded the 1980s agricultural crash when adjusted for inflation. Farmers stay creditworthy within the eyes of banks, at the same time as their incomes fall, as a result of the collateral worth of land stays excessive.
Whereas farm revenue has halved from its peak in 2013, farm fairness has fallen only 5% due to secure land values, in response to Robert Johansson, chief economist on the US Department of Agriculture. But when costs have been to break down, farm bankruptcies would widen and go away lenders — a lot of them backed by the federal authorities — with huge losses.