Farmland land prices unpredictable

Farmland land prices unpredictable
By Ken Waddell

With forty quarters of land up for mortgage sale in the last week’s issue of the Neepawa Banner, one would have to wonder what’s going on in the farm industry. Mortgage auctions usually indicate tough times down on the farm. Recent surges in grain prices would indicate that good times are ahead for crop producers. The recent hog moratorium, low hog prices and pressures on the cattle prices accompanied by high feed grain prices are causing anxieties as well.
What is happening with the large number of mortgage sales is a bit hard to figure. One large package of land is under a mortgage held by Redfern Farm Services. In the other ads the mortgage holder isn’t indicated. Anecdotal evidence suggests there will be very active interest in the sale of any land that is suitable for crop production.
Farm land prices are rising. In the last two weeks seven quarters of land sold by auction in the Swan River Valley. The quarters went at a low of $970 per acre and a high of $1760 per acre.
Farm Credit Corporation, a major lender for farm land, says that Manitoba farmland has increased by 1.7 per cent in the last six months and that follows increases of 2.8 per cent and 2.9 per cent in the first and second half of 2006. Higher prices for speciality crops and grain in west-central Manitoba are driving up the price of land.
The report also indicates that manure management demands are responsible for the increase in values of less fertile land located in intensive livestock areas.

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