89th Annual Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference a Success

Dr. Wendong ZhangThe 89th Annual Iowa State University Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference, the longest-running conference at Iowa State organized by Assistant Professor Wendong Zhang, was held on May 18, 2016 in Scheman Building.

More than 280 farm managers, rural appraisers, real estate brokers, ag lenders and others attended this year’s conference. 191 conference attendees also participated in the survey of land and commodity price predictions and they project the Iowa farmland market continues to soften and commodity prices to be stagnant at current levels.

This is the longest running conference at Iowa State in both research and extension, and 2016 will mark the 89th annual meeting in this series. It is designed for anyone who has an interest in agricultural land, land management, and land valuation.

The conference featured discussions on six topics, with ISU Extension and Outreach researchers having a strong presence throughout the event. The overall theme will be the issues with implications for soil management and land valuation. The topics of conversation for the conference include:

  • Evaluating Hunting Leases: Implications for recreational land values. Presented by Tom Steen, the Hunting Lease Network, Farmers National Company
  • Global Economic Outlook: What does a slowing China and a strong U.S. dollar mean for U.S. agriculture? Presented by Nathan Kauffman, assistant vice president, Omaha Branch executive and economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Panel Discussion on Current and Future Cash Rents in Iowa by three agricultural lenders and farm managers. Moderated by Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State University, and panelists include Jim Knuth from Farm Credit Service of America, Scott Neff from Wells Fargo Bank and Mike Downey from Hertz Farm Management
  • Excessive Spring Rain Will Be More Frequent (except this year): Weather tools to manage it. Presented by Chris Anderson, assistant director Climate Science Group at Iowa State University
  • Soil Fertility Management with Tight Crop Production Margins. Presented by John Sawyer, professor and extension specialist in soil fertility and nutrient management at Iowa State University
  • Cover Crops, Wetlands and Conservation Drainage: Why we need to adopt and how many acres are needed.Presented by Matt Helmers, professor and extension agricultural engineer in agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University