Monthly Archives: January 2015

K-State Survey Indicates Lower Farmland Prices, More Non-Performing Loans in the Short-Term Outlook

The agricultural lender sentiment for the end of 2014 shows that lenders have decreased expectations for the short- and long-term outlook. Respondents of a Kansas State University Agricultural Lender Survey expect farmland prices to decline and non-performing loans to increase.

The five areas surveyed include farm loan interest rates, spread over cost of funds, farm loan volumes, non-performing loans and farmland values. Brady Brewer, agricultural economics doctoral candidate, outlined the major themes and implications for the agricultural sector that were found.

“One of these themes is the continued expectations that farmland values will decrease; growing sentiment that farmland values will decrease in the short- and long-term,” Brewer said.  “Additionally, only 2 percent more respondents indicated that land values in their service territory increased during the last quarter, indicating that values have already stagnated.”

Brewer pointed out that lenders expect interest rates to increase in the short- and long-term. Rising loan interest rates was expected on all loan types considered, operating, intermediate, and farm real estate.

“However, more lenders felt these increases would occur in two to five years instead of the coming year,” added Brian Briggeman, associate professor and director of the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center.

Another theme Brewer discovered is that while the long-term expectation for non-performing loans saw little change from the spring 2014 survey to the fall 2014 survey, more lenders expect non-performing loans to rise in the short term. Potentially, lenders are expecting tighter profit margins to strain loan repayment rates sooner than previously expected. However, it is important to recognize that non-performing loans are currently at a historically low level.

“The financial health of the livestock and crop sectors appears to be headed in different directions,” said Brewer. With lower commodity prices and higher farmland values, lenders expect non-performing loans to increase in the short- and long-term for crop sectors, while the livestock sectors, bolstered by high market prices and lower feed costs, are expected to see a decrease in non-performing loans.

“As with the spring 2014 survey, lenders continue to express less optimism than they did during 2013,” said Christine Wilson, professor and assistant dean of academic programs, for K-State’s College of Agriculture. “They continue to expect interest rates to increase, non-performing loans to increase, and farmland values to decrease. They do however also still expect farm loan volume to remain strong.”

The research and series of surveys was developed by Brewer, Briggeman, Wilson, and Allen Featherstone, department head and professor of the K-State Department of Agricultural Economics. For more information about the outlook for agricultural credit conditions and commentary on areas of concern within agriculture, go to the K-State Agricultural Lender Survey

K-State Research & Extension News

For more information:
Dr. Allen Featherstone – or 785-532-4441


87 Employers to attend Jan. 28 Agri-Industry Career Fair

It’s that time of the year when the internship application frenzy kicks into full gear. Whether it’s required to complete a degree or just to build personal experience, students are searching for their perfect-fit internship and the Agri-Industry Career Fair is the best way for College of Agriculture students to shape their summer plans.

Open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28, in the Student Union Ballroom, the career fair will feature 87 employers, including many sought out companies like Cargill, CHS, Land O’ Lakes, Farm Credit and more (see the full list here).

How can students prepare to attend the career fair?

  • Utilize the “Career Closet” of gently used professional attire to dress to impress! Available Monday, Jan. 26, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Union Courtyard. Discover how to best dress to impress here.
  • Make a first impression the employer won’t forget – it is important to exude confidence and be able to exhibit personal strengths.
  • Build and/or update your resume and print off several copies to hand out to interested employers.
  • Map out the employers to visit and be knowledgeable about the operation of the company; this allows you to ask critical questions and better understand what the employer is looking for.
  • Take notes at each booth you visit and try to collect business cards or pamphlets.
  • Visit the drop-in resume critique at the College of Agriculture Welcome Back Social on Tuesday, Jan. 27, from 5:30-8:00 in Waters 106.

See the Career and Employment Services full list of tips here.

Contact Mary Ellen Barkley with career fair questions at or (785) 532- 1680.


Latest Ag News Now

The latest release of Ag News Now features many opportunities for jobs, internships, scholarships and volunteering.

  • The Scoular Company is looking for sophomores and juniors to shadow merchandisers in the corporate office and tour one of the grain-handling facilities. The company also has openings in the following positions: commodity merchandising and facility operations, both for either a job or internship. Visit Scoular’s website at or find them on social media.
  • Volunteer for Farmer to Farmer of East Africa, find out more at
  • AgVenture is offering scholarships, due online by March 27, 2015. The Earl H. Passwaters scholarship is worth $1,000 and is open to full-time agriculture students with a 3.0 GPA. Requires writing an essay. Email with questions or find the AgVenture Facebook page.

Read the full Ag News Now here.

Dan O’Brien to share farm bill decision tools at Cover Your Acres 2015

In its 12th year strong, the 2015 Cover Your Acres Winter Conference will meet in Oberlin Jan. 20-21. University specialists and industry representatives will provide educational sessions on factors affecting farm management in northwest Kansas and surrounding regions.

Dan O'Brien is one of the presenters at the upcoming Cover Your Acres conference

Dan O’Brien

Dan O’Brien, KSU associate professor and extension economist, is one of the presenters who will be in attendance. To learn how the farm bill choices and crop insurance can be applied to situations specifically in northeast Kansas, attend one of his workshops at 8:30 a.m. or 4:10 p.m. either day of the conference.

Other sessions include weed control and its effect on the environment and in fallow situations, soil microbiology and carbon, oil sampling, phosphorous management, drought tolerant corn and wheat yield development.

Attendees can choose to attend one day or both days. Fees, if registered by Jan. 14, are $40 for Jan. 20, $35 for January 21 or $50 for both days. Later registration moves the cost to $50 each day. The fees cover educational materials and lunch.

Commercial applicators and certified crop advisors may also choose to receive continuing education credits.

The conference draws around 600 attendees from in and out of state.

Sponsors for the event are Bayer CropScience, Frontier Ag, Hoxie Implement, Lang Diesel, Monsanto, National Sunflower Association, Pacleader Technology, Plains Equipment Group, SImplot Grower Solutions, Sims Fertilizer, Simpson Farm Enterprises and Surefire Ag Systems.

Full conference details and registration options are found here.

First of Farm Bill Informational Meetings to cover New Cotton Program

First of Farm Bill Informational Meetings to Begin Mid-January
The new cotton program will be covered in the Jan. 12 Wichita meeting only.

Though the Midwest isn’t booming with cotton fields, plenty of farmers and lenders in and out of state have expressed interest in the new cotton program found in the farm bill. For this reason, the January 12th Farm Bill Meeting will be the only meeting to examine and explain the program, which differs from the grain and oilseed programs.

The January 12th meeting in Wichita commences the series of sponsored half-day meetings across the state. K-State agricultural economists, Mykel Taylor and Art Barnaby, will lead the sessions, which provide vital information encompassed in the 2014 Farm Bill. Commodity programs, trade-offs of choosing one program over another, decision aid tools and major changes in crop insurance are on the agenda for discussion.

Attendees will also hear from representatives of the Farm Service Agency, a subsidiary of the USDA, about the commodity program procedures.

The goal of the series is to provide assistance in making key decisions required by the farm bill, with a deadline for decisions set at the end of March.

Common concerns of producers will also be addressed, including word that prices used in the USDA’s calculation did not represent accurate data.

Art Barnaby put these concerns at rest, saying, “The prices being used to calculate payments are not random. There is good data being used. With regard to wheat yield, we also know a lot about the numbers being used. To say ‘it’s a flip of the coin’ is not true.”

Sponsors for the series include Ag Risk Solutions, ARMtech Insurance Services, Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, ProAg and various local sponsors for individual locations.

Jan. 12 – Wichita
Jan. 13 – Pittsburg2014 Farm Bill logo
Jan. 14 – Emporia
Jan. 15 – Ottawa
Jan. 20 – Salina
Jan. 21 – McPherson
Jan. 22 – Pratt
Jan. 26 – Goodland
Jan. 27 – Scott City
Jan. 28 – Liberal
Jan. 29 – Dodge City
Feb. 10 – Phillipsburg
Feb. 11 – Hays
Feb. 12 – Frankfort
Feb. 13 – Atchison

More detailed information, including how to register at a preferred location and details about supporting sponsorships, is available at Further information also is available by contacting Rich Llewelyn at

Happy New Year from the K-State Department of Agricultural Economics

The Department of Agricultural Economics wishes you a very happy New Year!!