What is happening to farmland values and what may be in store in the future are the subjects of the 2014 Illinois Farmland Values Conference which will be hosted by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers which will be held here March 20.

“We’ve all see an easing of prices being paid for farmland across the state and I think we’re accepting that this was inevitable. But what’s next?” asks Dale Aupperle, AFM, ARA, Heartland Ag Group, Ltd., Forsyth, chair of the annual ISPFMRAS Farmland Values program. “The speakers and presentations that are on the schedule for this year’s Farmland Values Conference will address that subject square on.

“One of the recent drivers on land values has been the near-zero percent interest rates,” he explains. “But that could very well be changing with new leadership at the Federal Reserve Board, and David Oppedahl, at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, will be addressing that subject.”

“Dr. Steve Johnson, from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will look at leases and cash rents from a broader, Midwest perspective. It’s always good to know what’s going on around us so we have benchmarks for comparison,” Aupperle continues.  “Dr. Brent Gloy, from Purdue University, will also offer his perspective on what has been happening, and what likely could happen, from  the farmland values perspective across the entire Midwest.”

“And we’ve just added Dr. Bruce Sherrick from the University of Illinois’ College of ACES to address ‘New Tools and Indicators in Farmland Values.’ This will compare returns on farmland to other assets and potential for developing indexable farmland returns, and demonstrate some useful tools for managing positions in farm real estate,” he says.

“We’ll bring it all back home with a summary of the 2014 Illinois Land Values and Lease Trends survey which was just completed. This is the report that has been generated by ISPFMRA members and colleagues from around the state. I will be joined by Dr. Gary Schnitkey (University of Illinois College of ACES) in making the report on Illinois activity. This will cover farmland sales for 2013 by the 10 different regions of the state as well as a look at leases – what’s happened and what’s anticipated,” he says.

Aupperle notes that there is a registration fee of $75 to attend the event which includes a copy of the 2014 Illinois Farmland Values and Lease Trends Report. The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on March 20 at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Brickyard Drive in Bloomington. Registrations can be paid at the door and advance reservations are not required. For more information visit http://www.ispfmra.org/.

“Simply stated, if you own farmland and want to get an idea about what to expect next, this is the place to be,” he concludes.