Monday, June 20, 2016

Interesting StarTribune article on Farmland Management

I read a very interesting article in the StarTribune by Tom Meersman explaining the role of farm managers and absentee landowners:

The article starts by introducing us to a landowner named Dave Butler, as follows:

"Dave Butler doesn’t have a clue how to farm, and he has never lived on a farm. But his parents and grandparents owned a large farm west of Hutchinson, and Butler and his brothers inherited 440 acres after their mother died in 2010. The brothers decided to keep the acreage in the family.
“It’s just a good investment,” said Butler, 62. “They don’t make dirt anymore, you know, and we want to keep it for the family heritage and investment income. I go out there quite a bit and check on it.”
How to make that investment income can be tricky. Butler and his brothers didn’t know what was an appropriate rental rate for the land or how to evaluate whether tenants were taking care of it properly."
According to the story, "Butler’s family is one of about 31,000 land owners renting out cropland in Minnesota to the tune of nearly $2 billion annually, according to federal estimates.
And as the average age of farmers inches toward 60 and more cropland passes to nonfarming younger generations, as in the case of the Butlers, the business of managing many of those farms is on the rise to help with rental agreements, taxes and other financial and land management decisions.
A 2014 survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that more than 2 million acres of Minnesota farmland, most of it used to grow crops, is expected to be transferred during the next five years. And with the graying of farmers, it’s likely that even more ownership changes will occur during the next two decades."
If you find yourself in a similar situation to the Butlers, I'd love to become a trusted advisor for you and your family. As a farmer, landowner, farmland appraiser, and real estate agent and broker myself; I have a unique perspective that very few other people can match. I would welcome the chance to learn about your situation and provide you with the best farmland advice.
Please contact me at 320-894-7528 for more information.
Noah Hultgren