Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 35 years. From the southern corn leaf blight of 1970 to today's biofuels focus, he''s lived, reported and analyzed the impact of volatile markets on farm and ranch businesses and on land prices. After growing up on a grain and livestock farm in Western Illinois, Mike graduated from the University of Illinois with an undergraduate degree in agriculture communications and a master''s degree in business administration in the early 1970s. Since then he''s covered business and management issues as well as price outlook and marketing issues in various positions with Farm Journal Magazine and Professional Farmers of America. He now applies his extensive background and analytical skills to today's surprising farm and ranch market as editor of LandOwner.
Four in 10 bankers report farm loan defaults represent their biggest challenge for the year ahead, according to Creighton University's monthly survey.
Appraisal update finds weaker farmland values in the Central Plains, higher values in Iowa
The average value of an acre of Iowa farmland rose 2% in 2017.
Kansas City Federal Reserve: Length of decline in farmland values equals the 1980s but not to the same extent.
Ag bankers are slightly more optimistic; 57% report stable farmland values.
NCREIF quarterly Farmland Index notes gains on income returns in the face of slight depreciation of farmland