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Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference Is May 15

By Rabail Chandio

Farm managers, rural appraisers, real estate brokers and others interested in the Iowa land market can receive timely updates at this year’s Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference May 15 in Ames.

Experts from across Iowa and the nation will examine current issues in rural property management, appraisal, the selling and buying of land as well as agricultural policy.

The annual conference – now in its 96th year – is the longest running at Iowa State University in research and extension.

This year’s conference will be held in person at the Scheman Building from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Rabail Chandio, conference chairperson, will review the attendees’ land values forecasts to start the day, followed by a discussion on the U.S. and Global Ag Economy in relation to the land markets by Jason Henderson, Iowa State's vice president for extension and outreach.

Alejandro Plastina, associate professor and extension economist at Iowa State, will join Hingli Feng, an assistant professor of economics at Iowa State, and Ruth McCabe, an agronomist with Heartland Cooperative, for a panel discussion on conservation and easement programs and their influence on land values and soil quality.

Neil Hamilton, former director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center, will follow the panel with a presentation called “Soil Health and Water Quality Concerns: Implications for Land Values and Marketability.”

After lunch, Eric Snodgrass, the principal atmospheric scientist with Nutrien Ag Solutions, will present his weather outlook for the 2024 growing season; and Erin Hodgson, professor and extension entomologist at Iowa State, will discuss the implication of recent warm winters and climate change for soil health, yields and land valuation.

The final two sessions will include a look at the legal developments that affect land purchases and sales, with Kristine Tidgren, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State; and a look at how the crop and livestock market futures can influence farmland land markets, by Brian Grete, commodity analysis expert and editor of Pro Farmer.

Chandio, who is also an assistant professor and extension economist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said the conference continues to be an excellent educational venue for Iowans and beyond.

"The economic situation in agriculture and globally is not exactly clear right now,” said Chandio. “On top of that, the warm Iowa winters leave many to wonder about what to expect this year. With our agenda and the experts we have lined up, this is a great opportunity for attendees to gain a clearer understanding about several concerns, quite unique to this year, as we head into another crop season.”

Registration for the Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference is $150.

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