MWA: Murray Wise Associates

News & Insights

A lot of folks are starting to ask me how the current drought — the worst since 1988 — will affect farmland prices. Will it entice more people to sell? Will cash rent prices drop? I can’t really answer either of those questions in a meaningful way except to remind people that the drought is [...]

When it came to financial experts, they didn’t get any bigger — or any smarter — than Barton Biggs, who died July 14 at the age of 79. I rarely speak without quoting his 1988 advice: “Buy a farm and get rich slowly.” He’s quoted repeatedly in my 1993 book, Farmland Investment Strategy. Biggs wasn’t [...]

It wasn’t so long ago that we were all feeling downright euphoric about the 2012 crop season. A mild winter had ended early, enabling many farmers to get their crops in the ground early. Worldwide demand was (and still is) continuing to grow, and everything pointed to a year to remember. Unfortunately, it seems to [...]

A survey of 246 farmland owners shows that 65% of those participating felt someone else would pay more for their farm than they feel it is worth, according to an article from FarmDocDaily.com. The survey was conducted by the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture for the upcoming Top Farmer Crop Workshop, being held July [...]

American agriculture lost one of its best friends this weekend, when Mark Pearson, longtime host of Iowa Public Television’s Market to Market show, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack. He was 54. Pearson, who helped the world understand the complex world of agriculture through good and bad times alike, had a unique way of [...]

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. That’s more complicated today because of two factors: (1) The dramatic increase in farmland prices of the last couple of [...]

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 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. In order to uphold our high standards, we extended the deadline and made [...]

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. It happens to all of us for perfectly good reasons. We [...]

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. This can especially [...]