The Iowa Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference will mark its 84th annual meeting on May 11, 2011. Held in the Scheman Building on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, this one-day event is the longest running conference on the ISU campus, says Mike Duffy, ISU Extension economist.
Sponsored by the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and ISU Extension, the conference will provide updated information for farm managers, rural appraisers, real estate brokers, lenders and others who have an interest in Iowa farmland. Conference participants are eligible for six hours of continuing education credit for renewal of a real estate and broker's license. This conference has been also approved for six hours of continuing education for Iowa Appraisal License renewal.
Pre-register on or before May 4 to get discount registration
General economic conditions and the impacts of the changing rural population will be covered in the morning sessions, says Duffy, a professor of economics and a member of the conference planning committee. Grain and weather outlooks will be covered in the afternoon sessions, as well as the changing relations between cash rents and land values.
Registration information is available online at www.cpm.iastate.edu/Upcoming along with an agenda of the topics and speakers. Registration costs are $90 if you register on or before May 4, but registration is available up to the day of the event at an increased price of $100.
Should you invest in Iowa farmand or the stock market?
That's one of the topics to be discussed. ISU's Mike Duffy has written an up date on his previous study comparing the stock market and Iowa land values. It is titled "Comparing the stock market and Iowa land values: a question of timing."
The recent decrease in Iowa farmland values and the turbulence in the stock market have resurrected a perennial question. Which is a better investment - the stock market or farmland?
Iowa farmland values have shown yearly increases for ten of the past eleven years. The values remain at record high levels where they have been for the past eight years. Based on the Iowa State University Land Value Survey, the 2010 estimated average farmland value in Iowa was $5,064 per acre. This was an increase of 15.9 percent from the 2009 estimate. Since 1990, the estimated average value of Iowa land has more than quadrupled, going from $1,214 to $5,064 per acre.
The composite value of the stock market, as measured by the Standard & Poor's Index average, has started recovering from the disastrous 2008 year. Even though the S&P lost almost 32 percent of its value between 2000 and 2008, its overall record has been impressive since 1990. Stock values rose from 328.75 in 1990 to 1,241.53 in December 2010, an increase of over 300 percent in spite of the decline in 2008.
To determine which option provided the better investment, the study compares and contrasts the returns to farmland and the stock market since 1960. It also discusses some important factors to consider over the next few years. To read the entire article go to www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and look under the April 2011 update of ISU's Ag Decision Maker newsletter and click on the headline "Comparing the stock market and Iowa land values, a question of timing."