More farmers are walking away from high land rent

Jase Wagner, CFO-Compeer

An agricultural lender says more producers are walking away from rented land.

Jase Wagner is Chief Financial Officer for Compeer Financial, and he tells Brownfield   “Yeah, we’re definitely seeing the ceiling.  It’s different across our territory in Minnesota down through Illinois on where that ceiling is, but many of those have reached that ceiling or are above it, to be quite honest, in today’s land values and prices.”

Wagner tells Brownfield more of his producer clients are making the tough choice to let go of land they’ve cropped for years.  “There’s definitely some stress and a lot of difficult conversations out there.  I think there has been some landlords who have been tougher than others, and we’ve had some producers walk away from land, and in many cases, that’s been a really good decision.”

Wagner says often, the landlords don’t have the ability to lower the rent much.

“Landlords have a different mix, too.  They have increasing taxes in many parts of the country, so the governments aren’t giving them any break, and then the farmer’s on the other side trying to lower their overall revenue so they’re getting squeezed as well.”

Wagner says some farmers with uncertain acreages in the next few years are considering leases instead of purchases for new equipment in case they need to downsize later.

Wagner spoke with Brownfield at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting conference in Kansas City.

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