Farmland Values Conference to focus on putting pieces together

Finding out what's happening with Illinois farmland values and "putting all the pieces together" will be the focus of discussion at the 2016 Illinois Land Values Conference which will be held here on March 17. The event is sponsored by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

There are lots of questions about land values, rent and lease rates, how the state fits with regional and national trends, and what to look for in the future says David Klein, AFM, ALC-A, Soy Capital Ag Services, Bloomington, and co-chair of the annual Land Values Project sponsored by ISPFMRA. "We're looking at defining the various pieces and then working toward getting them all to fit," Klein says. "We will not have all the answers for everyone attending, but we sure hope to give them some ideas on where things may be headed and how they can make things work for them."

The half-day event is open to the public, Klein says, and walk-in registrations will be welcomed.

Speakers on the program include: Bruce Sherrick, Ph.D., TIAA-CREF Center for Farmland Research, University of Illinois; Paul Pittman, CEO of Farmland Partners, a publicly traded real estate company which is looking for and acquiring farmland throughout the country, and; Mark Dotzour, Ph.D., a real estate economist at Texas A&M University. "These three will provide some historical perspective on where farmland values are today, what is happening nationwide and where things may be headed as we look to the future," Klein noted.

The end of the program will be the annual report from ISPFMRA on farmland values and lease trends across Illinois. "We have teams of society members from around the state who are gathering information about farmland sales during the past year and I will be making the official report on that activity," Klein explained. "Sharing the podium with me will be Gary Schnitkey, Ph.D.,University of lllinois College of ACES."

All attending the conference will receive a complimentary copy of the comprehensive 2016 Illinois Farmland Values and Lease Trends Report, which will be released at the conference.

The program is set to begin at 8 a.m. on March 17 with registration opening at 7 a.m. There is a registration fee of $70 for ISPFMRA and RLI members and $80 for the general public. "The program is open to anyone who wishes to attend and no advance registrations are required," Klein said.


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