MWA: Murray Wise Associates

News & Insights

Farmland prices in Iowa rose by an average of 23.7 percent in the last 12 months, and that’s what passes for a slowdown these days. (The numbers came from the semiannual survey by the Iowa Farm & Land Chapter of the Realtors Land Institute.) We’ve heard — and talked about — these huge numbers throughout [...]

The agriculture industry feeds not only our nation, but much of the rest of the world, at reasonable prices. Naturally, that requires a lot of natural resources, and the industry sometimes gets criticized by environmentalists. But an increasing number of farmers and related businesses are seeking ways to reduce their energy use and carbon footprint. [...]

Dairy Today reports that Indiana is tightening manure regulations for dairy and beef cattle producers. Starting July 1, producers with 300 or more dairy or beef cattle will be required to have 180 days of manure storage — a 50 percent increase from the current requirement of 120 days. Dairy Today also reported that Indiana [...]

In most well-run businesses, a new investment usually begins with development of a business case — a thought process that analyzes the cost of the investment, the capital requirements, the marketplace, the expected cash flow, and the return on investment. As long as businesses are disciplined about this, they tend to succeed. The same is [...]

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 [...]