MWA: Murray Wise Associates

News & Insights

One of the rewarding aspects of my career is the opportunity to help promising agriculture students finance their education through the Murray Wise Associates Foundation scholarships. We’re approaching the March 31 deadline for new applicants, and I’m hoping we get a large number of applicants. Eligible applicants include high school seniors accepted for enrollment at [...]

As I noted a few days ago, folks who were saying a couple of years ago that they’d wait and buy farmland at lower prices are still waiting. And now — right here in my own county — we just saw prices go higher still. With a whole room full of people, I feel sure [...]

What’re you waiting for?

Three or four years ago, people began to suggest that farmland prices were getting too high for their taste. Some suggested that “maybe I’ll wait and get them at a lower price later.” This week, a co-worker asked if any of those people had succeeded in buying at a lower price. I couldn’t think of [...]

I’ve noticed lately that the “skyrocketing farmland prices” headlines have pretty much disappeared from the news. Thank goodness! To be sure, there’s been plenty to write about. The drought, the Farm Bill, and many other issues have been well covered, especially in the “ag press.” But the excessive attention to prices per acre can distort [...]

When it comes to a college education, few fields can equal the benefits of an agriculture degree. Not only can it prepare future farmers, but it can also lead to a wide range of opportunities, including business, forestry, manufacturing, sales and many others. But financing a college education can be a challenge. Tight budgets have [...]

The Real China Story

China not only cannot feed itself, its agricultural output is not growing due to a strange phenomenon: As more and more rural Chinese people head for better-paying work in the cities, some are abandoning their plots of land and, with no cultural history or institution of tenant farming, the land is left idle. One would [...]

I had the great honor this week of serving as keynote speaker for a prestigious gathering of farmland owners, academics, policymakers and other leaders at an agriculture conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Naturally, there has been a lot of debate recently over whether farmland prices have reached unsustainable levels, and there [...]

One of the greatest benefits of farmland ownership is land’s stability over the long term. We’re really seeing that now, as the crops are in and land sales begin to pick up. After the worst drought of our lifetime, it would stand to reason that land prices might weaken. After all, that’s what we see [...]

I found myself bursting with pride recently when a young man named Colin Hurd was featured  in the Iowa State Daily for his work in developing a solution to a challenge that farmers face constantly: How to minimize soil compaction. Colin, a senior in agricultural studies at Iowa State University, is winner of the 2012 [...]

All farmers understand supply and demand. A drought reduces the supply of corn, for example, and prices go up. It’s natural, because we sell our farm products every year, in all kinds of markets. Commodity markets create the competition that establishes a fair market value. The average farmer sells land far less often, and it’s [...]