Is Property Tax Relief In Sight for Nebraska Landowners?

As farmers and landowners look toward the 2017 growing season, they’re also keeping a close eye on the Nebraska State Legislature. Several bills addressing property tax relief are on the Legislative agenda, and farmers and landowners are keenly interested in seeing some form of progress in this arena.

Leading the charge is newly elected state senator and Albion farmer Tom Briese, who has introduced two bills to address the imbalance in Nebraska’s tax structure, citing Nebraska’s 5th-worst ranking for property taxes. He says:

According to Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraskans pay roughly 2.5 times more in property taxes than in state sales taxes. If we include local sales taxes, U.S. Census Bureau data suggests Nebraskans pay 56 percent more in property taxes than in sales taxes. Census Bureau data also indicates we pay 36 percent more in sales taxes than in state individual and corporate income taxes combined.

Seeking to lessen these tax burdens, Briese’s LB 313 would raise sales tax revenue by increasing the sales tax rate to 6.5 percent. This bill, coupled with LB 312, which would expand the sales tax base to include more goods and services, would provide significant tax relief in a fair, consistent way—that isn’t fueled by special interests.

Briese proposes that both bills provide for diverting a portion of the revenue raised to reimburse consumers with a newly created property tax credit fund, to be distributed to owners of real property.

Briese also argues that tax relief cannot be just about changing the tax structure; it must also address spending.

Jim Vokel, Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha-based think tank Platte Institute for Economic Research, agrees that Nebraskans need property tax relief, but disagrees with Briese’s approach of higher sales taxes.

“Tax reform should be achieved through broader bases, lower tax rates, and controlled spending, not increased tax rates and more spending,” contends Vokel.

Other bills up for discussion are LB338 and LB640. LB338, also known as the “Agricultural Valuation Fairness Act,” proposes that “all agricultural and horticultural land will be assessed based on its capacity to produce income.” This bill would limit aggregate annual valuation increases to 3.5 percent.

LB640 prioritize funds from the Property Tax Credit Relief fund to the state education funding formula, the goal being to reduce education tax levies in equalized districts, and capping the percentage of property tax support in unequalized districts.

Introduced by State Senator Mike Groene, LB640 would “give long range tax equity in school funding.” According to the bill’s statement of intent, “It eliminates the effect of valuation inflation, it puts local control into local school funding by making local school boards justify any additional property tax asking to fill the gap above the 75% factor. It will also eliminate some of the shielding effect that the property tax credit gives local government entities for spending increases.”

Hopefully, state lawmakers can come to a consensus about the best way to move forward with these proposals, and  provide more relief to hard-working farmers and landowners across the state.

Sources consulted:  Briese, Tom. “It’s time the Legislature provides property tax relief.” Omaha World Herald. 03 Mar. 2017. Web. 09 Mar. 2017.  “LB313 – Increase the sales tax rate and provide property tax credits.” Platte Institute for Economic Research. 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 09 Mar. 2017.

Estate Planning and Estate Taxes—What You Need to Know

Estate planning and estate tax is a tiresome subject, and one that most of us would just like to sweep under the rug. However, it remains one of the most important matters that farmers and landowners attend to—the failure of which can result in scenarios ranging from annoying to nightmarish.


At UFARM, we field a lot of questions from farmers and landowners about this topic—and we are glad to have this conversation with our clients, knowing its importance. We offer appraisals and consultations that help you start off on the right foot as you develop an estate plan.

The most important step we take is to determine your overarching goals. Knowing and naming clear, concise objectives helps you to determine the best, easiest way to go about reaching them. These goals are generally the following:

  • What do we want from or for our farm business?
  • What do we want for our family?
  • What do we want for ourselves?
  • What do we want in our retirement?

Answering these types of questions is a compulsory starting point, and, answered clearly, point you in the right direction when making the rest of your estate planning decisions.

Similarly, we ask that all concerned parties affected by the business—whether they are farming, or non-farming, parents or grown children—be involved in this process of goal delineation. Then, after those goals are laid out, all parties should come together to create a plan that takes into account those goals, and prioritizes them in a mutually agreeable way. Don’t skip this step—it is in failing to do this that many unfortunate misunderstandings arise.

After you’ve discussed your overarching goals and laid out a plan, we work with you to put together a team to help you move on to the next step, addressing all legalities and technicalities in the process. This generally consists of consulting a lawyer and accountant well-practiced in estate planning.

Your team of estate planners will also be able to help you navigate the issue of estate taxes, and help you avoid crippling taxes that can result from poorly thought out planning. President-Elect Trump has emphasized frequently his desire to eliminate the federal estate tax and to limit burdensome capital gains taxes on small businesses and farms—also known as the “death tax.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch agrees with Trump’s desire to see an end to the Death Tax, saying, “The death tax on family farms, small businesses, ranches and estates has crippled hard-working families for far too long. It ought to be repealed, plain and simple,” he said in an email to CNBC.

However, until we know for sure what will happen, a plan that covers all bases is necessary to avoid burdensome and potentially ruinous taxes when passing the farm from one generation to the next.

If you are needing to put together an estate plan and wondering where to start, let UFARM help. We are happy to work with you to lay out your goals and get the best people on the job to ensure a healthy, prosperous farm business for your children and grandchildren.

UFARM offers a full range of Nebraska land management services, including real estate sales, rural property appraisals, consultations and crop insurance. UFARM has operated in Nebraska since the early 1930’s. If you have questions about yields and productivity on your rented farmland, give the UFARM managers contact us today!

Sources consulted:
Dickler, Jessica. “Who Wins If Trump Repeals the Estate Tax?” CNBC. 21 Nov. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.
“Transferring the Farm Business: First Focus on the ‘What.’” Meredith Agrimedia. 15 Nov. 2007. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.


The Dos and Don’ts of Cash Rent Leasing

Cash Lease Farmland

We’ve covered the topic of leasing a number of ways—the main types of leases and their applications, how to arrive at a mutually satisfying landowner/tenant agreement, and the best way to go about deciding which type of leasing agreement is right for your situation. We’ve also talked a lot about the importance of writing down leasing agreements on paper, and this is worth re-visiting periodically. Far too often, we see years-long relationships go suddenly awry due to confusion caused by handshake agreements and faulty memories.
Given the various factors that come into play with lease agreements, it’s important to keep a few main Dos and Don’ts in mind. First, DO write it down. Doing so prevents confusion and clearly delineates the terms, that may be reviewed should issues come up.
DO consider enlisting the help of a third party in the process, not only to avoid any awkward conversations, but also to take advantage of the neutrality that the third party provides. UFARM land managers are well-versed in this task, and provide peace of mind to those entering into the agreement that all bases are being covered. Should an issue arise at some point down the line, it is much more desirable to call your land manager and let him take care of the issue than to threaten the relationship otherwise.
DO be specific in the lease terms. Leave no base uncovered. At the most basic, include the following: The names of the parties involved, an accurate description of the property being rented, the beginning and ending dates of the agreement, the amount of rent to be paid, a statement of how and when the rent is to be paid, and the signatures of the parties involved.
DO go further than this. Add in provisions regarding improvement provisions, and clearly set down the duration of the lease agreement including termination and renewal guidelines.
DON’T rush into any sort of contract. Weigh the options carefully, considering all the variables, such as cattle grazing, erosion issues, crop residue considerations, and types of crop that will be grown.
DON’T forget to lay out a clear, mutually-beneficial payment plan. Take into consideration that payment plans may need to coincide with sales of livestock or crops, and be further separated to help the operator from a cash-flow standpoint.
DON’T forget to include the following main terms in your agreement. Your land manager will be sure to help you with this:
– Parties to lease and description
– General terms
– Termination
– Operation and maintenance
– Landowner rights and government payment
– Arbitration of differences
Creating a leasing agreement doesn’t have to be a difficult endeavor. In fact, we hope this post provides you with a solid foundation from which to start building yours. We encourage you to contact us with your questions or concerns. Consider enlisting the help of one of UFARM’s experience land managers to help you create an exceptional leasing agreement that provides both you and the other party peace of mind for the duration of the leasing relationship and for years to come.
Source consulted: “Fixed and Flexible Cash Rental Arrangements For Your Farm.” North Central Farm Management Extension Committee. 2011. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.

How the Election of Trump will affect Landowners and Farmers


Election effect on Nebraska landowners

After a stunning upset, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is preparing to take the reins from President Obama in January. His election was propelled by overwhelming support from rural voters—many among them farmers and landowners, who hold out hope for policies that may help ease the burdens that are falling on themselves and their fellow agriculture producers. Rural voters backed Trump over Clinton 62 percent to 34 percent, at the same time rural voters increased in this election. That, combined with the depressed urban turnout, sealed the deal for the business magnate.

Now, as Trump is picking out his cabinet members and preparing for his Inauguration, the same farmers and landowners are wondering how  a Trump presidency will play out not only in terms of agriculture policy, but in others such as immigration reform, trade, regulations, and healthcare.

While obviously there is only conjecture at this point, farmers and landowners can look to a few key points that Trump spelled out during his campaign and in an interview with Farm Futures magazine.

First, the President-Elect was quite clear in stating his support for agriculture, saying, “The Trump Administration will be a pro-agriculture administration.” He went on to state that he has assembled an Agriculture Advisory Committee comprised of top leaders in agriculture communities, who will provide key insight into the specific needs unique to farmers and landowners in rural areas.

Another issue that may impact large-scale farms deals with the many illegal immigrants who are employed by them. Noting concern that such a workforce may suddenly be taken away, Trump responded by emphasizing the perils of the Obama system of open borders on rural communities. “I recognize the unique labor challenges facing the American farm community and will include farmers and ranchers in the process of determining the best possible immigration policies. Enormous stresses are being placed on state and local government services, while jobs for American citizens and wages for American workers are in decline,” Trump said.

Additionally, many farmers are hoping for a new farm bill that addresses unpopular terms of the current bill, passed in 2014. Among them, the disparities associated with the Agricultural Risk Coverage payments are cited as a top concern. While this may be prioritized, farmers and landowners should be cautioned, as many conservative lawmakers are urging cutbacks on agricultural subsidies —about which many farmers may think twice, although many see the reasoning behind such a move.

Similarly, conservation programs and efforts may be altered, as well as the recently passed legislations regarding GMOs and food labeling.

Most importantly, perhaps, is that Trump’s election may spell the end of the regulations that burden both small- and large-scale farmers and landowners, a hope that the agricultural community immediately expressed the morning of November 9th.  Trump had strong words regarding these burdensome regulations, saying, “Terrible rules are written by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who often know nothing about the people they are regulating. The regulators have all of the power, and our nation’s farmers are often forced to endure costly, burdensome and unwise regulations that are bad for American farmers and consumers.”

Landowners and their families will welcome Trump’s proposed end to the controversial estate tax.  The double taxation this law causes has been a burden for many families.

Looking forward, America’s farmers and landowners are cautiously optimistic in the face of Trump’s forthcoming term, but will have to wait and see if the Trump administration will deliver on those promises.

UFARM offers a full range of Nebraska land management services, including real estate sales, rural property appraisals, consultations and crop insurance. UFARM has operated in Nebraska since the early 1930’s. If you have questions about yields and productivity on your rented farmland, give the UFARM managers contact us today!

Sources consulted:  Clayton, Chris. “Farm Voters’ Expectations of Trump Presidency Face Hard Realities.” Agfax. 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Spangler, Holly, and John Vogel. “Clinton and Trump: Where They Stand on Ag.” Penton. 20 Sep. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

Converting Nebraska Cropland to Pasture? Things to Consider.

Nebraska Pasture

As we learned after the latest USDA land market conditions update in August, land values and cash rental rates have nearly all decreased since 2015, mostly as the result of lower grain commodity prices. These market conditions have triggered interest among some landowners to consider converting Nebraska cropland back into pastures.

In addition, while average rental rates for pasture land also saw declines in 2016 nationally, Nebraska pastureland increased $40 per acre from 2015, at $910 per acre. These factors all combine to making such a switch appealing to farmers and landowners in the Cornhusker state.

So, what things should one consider before, during, and after such a switch? How can a UFARM land manager help in the process?

First, all the technicalities involved in the actual conversion must be considered. Among these, it’s necessary to choose the right seed, prepare the seedbed adequately, plant the seeds at the optimum depth, and focus on early weed control.

For most cool-season grasses, fall planting is recommended, keeping in mind that a spring planting between March 1-April 30th may be successful if summer weeds are controlled. For warm-season grasses, the optimal planting time is anywhere between April 1-May 15th.

After planting and getting the grass established, there is the possibility of having ground that may be grazed as soon as 12 months after a spring seeding, given careful attention to the appropriate planting guidelines.

Once the land has been converted successfully, another factor to navigate is the pasture leasing agreement. This is also an important area where taking advantage of a professional land manager’s expertise can benefit all involved parties.

According to Pat Reece, professor emeritus and now a consultant and owner of Prairie and Montane Enterprises, a lease agreement should always benefit the rangeland resources. “It is in the best interest of the land and livestock owner to improve and maintain range condition,” he urges. Without healthy range conditions, all other points are moot.

On the landowner’s part, having a good understanding of the health and potential production of their rangeland is important as well when negotiating a pasture lease. Professional land managers are able to help landowners gauge the health of their rangeland in order to arrive at the best overall arrangement. They are also able to help landowners determine the best stocking rate for their particular piece of rangeland, determine a good grazing schedule based on the characteristics of the land, take into account Animal Units base on the amount of grass available to graze for flexibility purposes, and help adjust stocking rates based on moisture amounts for a given time period.

In addition, relying on an experienced land manager to help arrange a leasing agreement is a good way to ensure that the lease is favorable for all parties, and that it is written down in clear, exact terms to avoid potential confusion down the line.

Are you considering making a switch to pasture land? Feel free to contact a knowledgeable UFARM land manager for help with the process—we are glad to offer our help in order to make the switch a smooth and profitable maneuver.

UFARM offers a full range of Nebraska land management services, including real estate sales, rural property appraisals, consultations and crop insurance. UFARM has operated in Nebraska since the early 1930’s. If you have questions about yields and productivity on your rented farmland, give the UFARM managers contact us today!

Cash Rents Down Across Nebraska

Nebraska Cash Rent

As farmers begin to wrap up harvest 2016 amidst low grain prices, it’s no surprise that cash rental rates across the state and region have followed suit. The USDA released its annual update on farmland market conditions in August, and highlighted the drop in US land values and rental rates nearly across the board.

Nationally, the average cropland cash rent fell 6 percent—$136 per acre lower—in 2016, after the long upward climb that began in 2008. Since 1998, the only other time the cash rental rate has seen a decline was in 2007, with a 3 percent drop.

Despite the overall decline, overall changes at the state level were much more variable. In the Midwest, Minnesota and Iowa showed the greatest decline in cash rents, similar to most other Midwest and Great Plains states. The only two states to show in increase were Michigan and Wisconsin.

Nebraska’s farmland real estate value—the value of all land and buildings on farms—decreased 3.3 percent from 2015, averaging $2,950 per acre. Similarly, Nebraska’s cropland value fell 4.3 percent from 2015, with an average value of $4,850 per acre.

Nationally, average rental rates for pasture land also saw declines in 2016—7 percent in total from 2015 highs, although Nebraska pastureland increased $40 per acre from 2015, at $910 per acre.

More specifically, for Nebraska, the dryland cropland value averaged $3,800 per acre, down $170 from 2015, while irrigated cropland averaged $6,560 per acre, also down from 2015’s $310 per acre average.

Looking expressly at cash rental rates in the Cornhusker state, renters paid less to landlords in 2016 than in 2015. Irrigated cropland cash rent average $243 an acre, an $11 decrease from 2015. For dryland cropland, rents averaged $150 per acre, down $10 from the previous year. Pastureland cash rental rates average $24 per acre, down $4.50 from 2015.

While cash rental rates are falling, a survey recently conducted by ProFarmer found that more farmers may choose to walk away from ground that can’t be renegotiated—another possible contributing factor to the trend, aside from other more obvious factors, chiefly lower commodity prices.

ProFarmer LandOwner newsletter editor Mike Walsten said, “According to our survey, we found that 44 percent of members and subscribers are willing to walk away from a cash lease if that lease is not lowered going into 2017.”

Based on these numbers—and similar sentiments shared elsewhere—cash rent conversations could be tough. Facing the decision to buy, sell, or walk away from pricey cash rents will be difficult the next year, but trying to keep emotions out of that decision is encouraged by farm managers.

Are you facing concerns about your rented ground, or nervous about looming cash rental negotiations? Please let an experienced UFARM land manager take the pressure off. We have the practical knowledge and necessary skills to help both parties reach a mutually agreeable rental price during this adjustment period.

UFARM offers a full range of Nebraska land management services, including real estate sales, rural property appraisals, consultations and crop insurance. UFARM has operated in Nebraska since the early 1930’s. If you have questions about yields and productivity on your rented farmland, give the UFARM managers contact us today!

Sources consulted: “NE Farm Real Estate Values Down 3 Percent from 2015; Cash Rents Also Down.” UNL Cropwatch. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 05 Aug. 2016. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.Morgan, Tyne. “More Farmers Walking Away from Pricey Cash Rents.” Farm Journal. 25 Oct. 2016. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.Widmar, David. “Most States See Cash Rental Rates Fall, Economist Says.” Farming. Meredith AgriMedia. 24 Oct. 2016. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.


Nebraska Harvest Progress from UFARM Managers

img_3813 img_3815 img_3817 img_3829

Harvest is in full swing across the Cornhusker State. Soybean harvest is nearing completion as farmers hasten to bring in what they can while the weather conditions remain favorable.

UFARM manager Mike Waller, located in Kearney, notes, “the harvest progress in the South Central part of the state is moving along at a rapid pace, with soybean harvest at about 90 percent complete. Soybean yields range from 70 to 85 bushels per acre, with some at 90 bushels per acre.

Waller also reports that most of the high moisture corn has been harvested. The weather conditions up until this week have allowed the plants to dry down quickly, with dryland corn in Harlan and Furnas Counties being harvested with moisture levels around 14-16 percent. Dryland yields range from 125-240 bushels per acre, with irrigated corn yields in Phelps and Kearney counties in an equally wide range of 175-240 bushels per acre, and moisture levels between 15-20 percent. Waller attributes the wide yield range to the abnormal weather conditions that occurred in early June, with significantly higher than average day- and nighttime temperatures. As a result, many cornfields in this area have abnormal ears or barren stalks.”

Norfolk UFARM manager Randy Oertwich reports, “the soybean harvest in the Northeast part of Nebraska was off to a good start, but was stalled by last week’s rainfall on Monday the 3rd and Thursday the 6th. Oertwich also notes that the soybean harvest has been difficult for some due to very dry beans and pods on green stems. Soybean yields have been in the 60-65 bushel per acre range.

High moisture corn is still being harvested, as well, with some producers combining corn in the 16-19 percent range. Yields in Northeast Nebraska have also been more sporadic than normal attributing to bottom ground replanting in late spring. Dryland corn for this portion of the state has seen 190-220 bushels per acre, with irrigated in the 225-245 bushels per acre range.”

UFARM manager Jeff Frack from the Lincoln office reports that “Harvest in the Southeast part of the state was brought to a screeching halt with the 1-4 inches of rain the area received last week. Up until that point, corn yields were varying from 110-205 bushels per acre, with the wide range attributable to summer moisture. Soybean yields were at 40-66 bushels per acre, again owing to a lack of adequate summer rainfall. “

The USDA NASS Crop Progress report for the week ending Sunday, October 9th shows that precipitation did indeed slow down harvest in some western counties as well as the eastern third of the state. Temperatures averaged near normal, with 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork.

In total, 23 percent of corn has been harvested—equal to last year, but behind the 30 percent five year average. Ninety-five percent of beans have dropped leaves, ahead of last year’s 93 percent and ahead of the 94 percent 5 year average.

Condition-wise, 17 percent of corn is in excellent condition, with 55 percent in good condition, 21 percent fair, 6 percent poor, and 1 percent rated very poor. Nineteen percent of Nebraska’s soybeans are rated excellent, with 59 percent good, 18 percent fair, 3 poor, and 1 percent very poor.

UFARM offers a full range of Nebraska land management services, including real estate sales, rural property appraisals, consultations and crop insurance. UFARM has operated in Nebraska since the early 1930’s. If you have questions about yields and productivity on your rented farmland, give the UFARM managers contact us today!

Nebraska Land Values and Property Taxes

Nebraska Land Values


Amid the many challenges that face farmers and landowners across Nebraska, a continued concern is high property taxes. With the plummeting grain prices over the last 3 years, and with the skyrocketing property tax rates of the last 10 years—which have increased 176 percent—it’s no wonder landowners and producers are hoping for property tax relief at the legislative level.

Toward the end of this year’s 2016 legislative session, lawmakers were able to advance LB 958 and LB 959, which provides additional money to the state’s property tax credit program, valuing ag land at 90 percent versus 75 percent of market value for the credit program, tightens limits on budget growth and levy increases for all local governments, and slows the rise in government-assessed cropland values across the state—measures that proponent and Governor Pete Ricketts calls “tools to help local governing entities control spending.”

In a state where 51 percent of total school spending comes from property taxes, in comparison to the national average of 32 percent—this is welcome news to landowners.

In calculating real estate taxes, all land is taxed based on either market value or fair use value. Often farmland appraisals are based on a formula for Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV), or the income a farmer can expect to earn based on factors including grain prices, farm rental rates, soil type and productivity, production expenses, and interest rates, among other variables.

As such, the record high crop prices in 2012 and the all time high farm incomes of 2013 are now factoring in to property tax appraisals. Given the plummeting farm incomes since then, combined with low interest rates, which also push taxes up for landowners, there is a perfect storm brewing for potential tax problems, despite the property tax relief legislation.

With this much money on the line, it’s little surprise that owners of Nebraska farmland often turn to professional land managers to provide them with highly accurate appraisal services. UFARM’s own agricultural valuation professionals have years of combined experience in local land markets with which to provide their clients with a clear account of their property’s value and potential.

Using the latest appraisal technology, UFARM appraisers are experienced in completing all the necessary reports for estate valuation, loan collateral, sales analysis, and property partition.

In addition, UFARM has certified rural appraisers on staff, offering appraisals through each of our offices across the state. These services include documented market value estimates that are carefully researched, written to withstand challenge, and provide a precise picture of a landowner’s property value.

In addition to property tax purposes and property tax appeals, an accurate value appraisal is important for a number of other, equally significant reasons, including:

-buying, selling, exchanging, or dividing real estate

-estate planning and gifting

-loan evaluations


-condemnation proceedings

-eminent domain for roadways, pipelines, or electrical lines

When it comes to determining the value of your land, count on the most experienced appraisers. Feel free to contact UFARM for all of your appraisal needs.

 Agricultural Landowners Need Good Record Keeping

recordkeeping for Nebraska landowners

As any business owner knows, keeping accurate and organized records throughout the year means less headache during tax season. This is no less true for agricultural landowners. Staying up-to-date with one’s business records is an integral part of managing your land, and contributes a great deal to being a profitable.

While some people enjoy this aspect being a landowner, many more do not. With the numerous responsibilities that come with owning farm or ranch land, it’s easy for record keeping to be pushed to the back burner, or neglected altogether.

It is for this reason that so many landowners turn to professional land managers to help them keep accurate records. At UFARM, our land managers follow strict guidelines in ensuring our clients receive accurate and timely records, with written evidence of their best interests at all times.

To start, each year UFARM clients receive a detailed plat map of their farm, including current crop locations and farm features. This sets a basis from which to gauge all aspects of the landowner’s operation. All bills—unless otherwise requested—are sent directly to the UFARM land manager, who then carefully reviews each invoice for accuracy before they are paid. This is an aspect that brings peace of mind to UFARM clients, who often don’t have the time to go over these details.

Similarly, any income received, whether it’s for rent, crop sales, or livestock sales is also sent to the land manager, who then issues a cash receipt documenting the transaction specifics before being deposited to earn interest until otherwise needed.

Quarterly, detailed Transaction Journals are sent to landowners for review. The Transaction Journals itemize income and expense activity on the farm management account in chronological order, as well as show a running cash balance, offering at-a-glance information in an easy to follow format. At year’s end, a General Ledger Detail is presented, consisting of detailed listings of each transaction that occurred during the last fiscal year. Along with the General Ledger Detail is the Income Statement, summarizing the year’s income and expenses.

Lastly, UFARM land managers help landowners keep track of Government Farm Programs. Relying on a solid understanding of government regulations in accordance with various programs, UFARM managers are careful to make sure all the details are covered in order to maximize income, while avoiding fines and assessments.

It is no wonder so many landowners have turned to UFARM to help them in their farm record keeping. The peace of mind in knowing that all the bases are covered in a systematic way is a bonus that cannot be ignored.

If you are feeling the need to get more organized with your farm record keeping, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We are glad to help you form a plan of action to maximize your land’s profitability, and know right where to help you start.

The Benefits of Having a Land Manager 

Meeting with UFARM Land Manager

You’ve made the decision to engage the help of a Land Management Company to aid you in your farm ownership needs. What happens next?

Fortunately, while the decision to turn to a land manager can be initially difficult, it is good to know that the ultimate goal of a land manager coincides with your own goals, with the overarching purpose of making your land as profitable as possible.

Owning a farm or ranch is an investment that comes with a lot of responsibilities, and can become overwhelming to even seasoned owners. This is especially true in the cases of non-farm owners, who may find themselves in the position after inheriting farm or ranch land from their deceased parents.

For the absentee or non-farm owner, spending large amounts of time arranging leases, supervising tenants, and managing farm property is simply not feasible, and many feel out of their depth as they struggle to make all the decisions that need to be made.

It is for these reasons that landowners across the state have turned to United Farm and Ranch Management (UFARM) to help them oversee and implement a management plan for their land for over 80 years.

The experienced land managers at UFARM begin by preparing a detailed inventory of all assets involved, following a thorough check-in process to itemize specific details of your property, including FSA aerial photos, NRCS soil maps, previous crop history, and a full list of buildings and structures on the property.

Then, insurance plans and options are reviewed to determine if the site has adequate coverage and the best rates. Along with insurance, property tax valuations are reviewed and compared with other properties to ensure that assessments are fair.

At this point, your UFARM land manager prepares a report, detailing his recommendations for your land’s best use and outlining ways to meet your ownership and investment goals.

Your land manager also endeavors to identify any potential problems that may exist, and make recommendations for remedying those problems through various improvements.

You may rely on UFARM to:

  • Make recommendations regarding lease options
  • Locate the best qualified operating personnel
  • Negotiate lease agreements
  • Manage and maintain homes, buildings, and other improvements
  • Develop a comprehensive operating plan covering crop or grassland rotations, tillage practices, chemical applications, etc., which are beneficial for the long-term value of the property
  • Supervise crop programs and conservation measures
  • Manage crop and livestock sales
  • Advise and oversee capital improvements
  • Facilitate participation in and compliance with government programs

While there are many more day-to-day tasks than just those listed, UFARM strives to do whatever needs to be done to work on your behalf and to make your operation sustainable and income-producing.

UFARM land managers pride themselves on keeping you up-to-date and informed about any decisions that need to be made, and to make sure those decisions have your approval. We always make sure to keep our level of involvement at your sole discretion.

An area where a land manager can be especially helpful is when arranging tenant leases—especially true when family is involved. In a perfect world, everyone would rely on a handshake agreement. However, it is best business practice to have a written lease prepared by a neutral third party to ensure both parties involved are satisfied and clear on the lease terms. UFARM land managers can prepare a number of different types of leases, and locate the best operator for the job.

Perhaps most importantly, however, is UFARM’s attention to the details that make such dramatic differences in profitability. We strive to keep up-to-date on the latest advances in marketing, science, government programs, technology, and equipment in order to help your farm continually improve.

Through frequent visits to your property, UFARM land managers provide you with timely reports that outline the status of your operation. We also are happy to take care of bills that need to be paid, and carefully review invoices for accuracy beforehand. Transaction journals are sent quarterly, itemizing farm income and expense in a clear, understandable way.

Most importantly, you can trust a UFARM land manager to always keep your goals in mind and your best interests at heart.  We are proud of our 85 year track record, and are eager to serve our clients for many more years to come. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time with your questions or concerns—we are happy to be of service to you.