Source: Alabama Cooperative Extension

Jim Novak, Ph.D., not only recalls the last spike in farmland prices in the 1980s but also how this trend played out. As trends go, it's a back-to-the-future scenario he would as soon not repeat.

But that is precisely what's happening, says Novak, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System economist and Auburn University professor of agricultural economics.

In an eerie replay of the 80s, the spikes are attracting investors such as MetLife, TIAA-CREF and John Hancock. But they're also drawing the attention of the Federal Reserve, which, like Novak, fears that this may turn out to be the next real estate bubble, leading to the same tragic consequences that followed in the 80s. 

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