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MANAGEMENT

Manage employees, analyze yield drivers, explore forage markets, become more confident in preparing farm financial statements, and untangle farm succession issues.

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This project was undertaken starting in 2009 in an effort to seek better varieties that will sustain yields and perhaps even thrive when grown under saline conditions. Salinity is a major challenge for alfalfa growers in irrigated regions and even in many non-irrigated regions.

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On the surface, agricultural profitability looks dismal for 2019 – corn and especially soybean prices are down; milk price is low; and while beef prices look steady from 2018, supply is high.

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I have been in this business for over 50 years and, other than the mid-’80s, when land (due to an agricultural economic financial crisis) had to be sold through foreclosure, most land sells because multiple family members have inherited the land and, due to various reasons, opt to sell the farm.

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The last four years, I’ve served as the director of the USDA U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center (USDFRC) in Madison, Wisconsin.

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In a white paper co-authored by HighQuest Partners and Julie Koeninger (2017), the authors summarize in their opening sentence, “Over the past three decades, farmland investing has grown exponentially from a ‘niche’ investment dominated by a few large pension plans and insurance companies to a mainstream institutional real asset class that increasingly can be accessed by retail-oriented investors.”

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This project received 2017 funding from the U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative (aka Alfalfa Checkoff). Brandon Schlautman is the lead researcher from The Land Institute on this project. Email Brandon Schlautman

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