MWA: Murray Wise Associates

News & Insights

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 [...]

I have a challenge for you: Look around on Wall Street — or anywhere else for that matter — and find a business where net income was up 28% and debt decreased by 3%. While you’re at it, see where you can find a class of real estate where values are rising dramatically even as [...]

When it comes to philanthropists who are especially gifted at finding practical ways to improve our world, Microsoft founder Bill Gates may ultimately prove to be the greatest of them all. And some may find it ironic that the man who made his fortune creating software would now focus so much of his time on [...]

John Kirkpatrick, who manages our business in Iowa, had some good thoughts recently on the attention given recently to prices on Iowa farmland. The sale of a farm for $20,000 an acre popped up on the national media radar screens, just as the eye of the nation was already focused on the state, which was [...]

Nobody follows and reports on farmland prices and ag economics quite like Landowner editor and blogger Mike Walsten. Lately, Mike’s been on a roll, with a great item on the recent auction of cash leases on 3,000 acres. Lease prices ranged from $400 to $530 per acre. Cash rents tend to lag movements in land [...]

With so much focus on farmland as an investment, it’s easy to get the idea that investors are the ones doing all the buying, but the opposite is true. In fact, investors were buying a higher percentage of the farmland in Illinois 2004 than farmers. (Illinois is the only state on which we have statistics, [...]

We’ve come a long way from the time — just a few years ago — when we relied on the postman to bring us our newsletters and magazines on the agriculture industry, and when “networking” consisted largely of attending conferences. Now, many of our top ag journalists blog regularly and use social media (especially Twitter [...]

People who fret about farmland prices getting too high tend to be overlooking the very low amount of debt owed by American farmers. The average U.S. farmer currently owes $9 for each $100 worth of assets. In the early 1980s, the average farmer owed $22 on every $100 worth of assets. In terms of actual [...]