Thursday, September 29, 2016

Soothe Customer Pain, Grow Your Business

In the movie classic Field of Dreams, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella follows a voice no one else can hear with memorable results. Among the messages he receives: “Ease his pain.” That’s not a bad mantra for ag businesses to keep in mind as we close out the 2016 production season. The company that does the best job of making life easier for their customers will likely gain more of them next year. Word travels fast in the country.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Nebraska Co-op Employees go Above and Beyond to Help a Fellow Employee

At VistaComm we serve a lot of clients who work and live in rural America. In helping our agribusiness clients market and communicate with their customers we come across all kinds of amazing stories of how these cooperatives and ag retailers are helping people in their communities. We recently published Farmers Ranchers Cooperative's newsletter which contained one of those great stories about how co-op employees came together to help a fellow co-worker in his greatest time of need, and we had to share.

Read the exerpt below, or view the full newsletter by clicking here.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


With $3 corn and $9 soybeans, it’s easy to see why farmland values are declining. But don’t take our word for it. There are scads of reports from industry experts, including:
  • The Kansas City Federal Reserve, which last month suggested farmland prices have softened from 3% to 5% from a year ago in Nebraska and Kansas.
  • The Chicago Federal Reserve, which reported farmland values have declined an average of 1% in its states, which include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin. However, value in Wisconsin and Illinois actually increased, while Iowa's dropped 6%.
Here are some of the trends we’re seeing.

High-quality land is still a valuable asset says David Klein, managing broker and auctioneer with Illinois-based Soy Capital Services. Take the August 25 sale of 640 acres east of Peoria in Washington County, Illinois, for example. The land averaged $11,600 per acre, with ranges from $9,800 to $11,600 per acre. “That tells me that high-quality farmland continues to be in high demand,” Klein says. All over the Corn Belt, we continue to hear that farmers are paying good money for high-quality land. Demand for that land will continue, Klein reckons.
Farmers are still buying. In the Washington County example, Klein says farmers bought most of the tracts. This continues to be the case in most sales, although we’re seeing more investor action in some of the sales we’ve tracked. “People are trying to make the case that outside investors are propping up land values,” says Steve Nicholson, analyst with Rabobank Financial. “However, farmers are still buying the majority of the land. Are there outside investors? Yes. But it’s not the majority.”