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The Interview: Factors Farmland Owners Should Watch in 2024

This interview is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Dave Muth has a diverse background. He was trained as a mechanical engineer. He earned his PhD from Iowa State University, worked in the biofuels industry, has been part of agricultural technology startups and operates a family farm in north central Iowa.

Dave Muth has spent the past year doing a deep dive into farmland trends leading into 2024 as part of his work leading the Peoples Company Capital Markets team as Managing Director of Asset Management.

“Farmland has continued to perform as an inflation hedge,” a factor that Muth said stands out to him as he examined the findings of his research.

Farmland’s historical annual value appreciation of six percent helped provide comfort and financial security for landowners. But, of course, inflationary pressures still affected the industry.

First, there was the influx of federal aid following COVID-19 through several main programs.

“Really unique circumstances that created a really strong cash environment,” Muth summarized.

The additional resources gave farmland owners a stockpile of cash for expansion and equipment. That provided a positive force for land values, too.

But the inflationary pressures that followed in the overall economy created burdens in other aspects. If landowners had available cash, they could take advantage. However, for those without plentiful cash looking to get into farmland ownership, they had to deal with significantly higher borrowing costs. And that was a barrier that some couldn’t afford to overcome.

Here is a guide to the factors and market forces that Muth addresses in the video conversation:

  • Scarcity of land

  • Increased productivity demands

  • Inflation impact

  • Political climate’s effects on federal crop insurance programs

  • Sustainability (Carbon, wind, solar and biofuels)

  • Recreational use possibilities for landowners

NOTE: Dave Muth will be one of the featured speakers as he discusses his latest research on farmland trends during the 17th Annual Land Investment Expo in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on January 9th, 2024.

To check out the full list of speakers, unique experiences and to register, click here.

View interview above or on our youtube feed.


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