The California Chapter, American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) has released its 2008 issue of Trends in Agricultural Land & Lease Values. The annual publication continues to be the number one source for agricultural land value data in California and an invaluable resource tool for the industry.

The 2008 Trends was released in April at the group's Spring Ag Outlook Conference in Bakersfield. According to Land Values session presenter, Mike Iliff, ARA, with Fresno Madera Farm Credit, "Values in the state have stabilized with commodity prices at all time highs. While demand for agricultural properties from all types of buyers remains very strong, the influence and number of 1031, tax-deferred exchanges has decreased dramatically." Looking to the future, co-presenter, Mark Clarke of Rabo AgriFinance, added that "Water woes, bee availability and labor availability are major concerns." He also noted that "Wine sales have flattened and wineries are back in the market looking for fruit and are signing long-term contracts."

Allan Barros, ARA, appraiser with Fresno Madera Farm Credit and overall coordinator of the Trends book, stated, "Although there are fewer 1031 exchanges occurring, people are still in the market for land. 2008 has started off strong, and it should be an interesting year to keep up with." Barros also noted that this year's book contains two in-depth feature articles that are very timely and will be of interest to readers-Water for California and A Time for Action and California's Olive Industry.

Other comments in the 2008 publication indicate a bright outlook for raisin prices through 2010; permanent plantings appear to be holding their own values per acre; and dairies continue to drive irrigated field cropland values in many areas.

Historical information is included in each issue of Trends going back an average of six years. Regional editorial overviews that provide background information for the charts and graphs are included as well as a glossary of terms for those who might be unfamiliar with some of the verbiage used in the reporting. The 2008 Trends publication is 84 pages and is printed in full color.

Copies of Trends are available from the California Chapter, ASFMRA for just $15 plus shipping and handling. Contact the chapter at 209-368-3672 or e-mail for information.