Howard Lake | 16 May 2011 | News Tagged with: Giving/Philanthropy Ireland Research / statistics AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis The Community Foundation for Ireland in association with Philanthropy Ireland is holding a breakfast seminar tomorrow in Dublin for advisors with an interest in increasing their knowledge of philanthropy.Seamus Mulconry, Chief Executive of Philanthropy Ireland, will present on what he calls “a snapshot of people’s giving in post Tiger Ireland”. Mike Gaffney, Tax Partner with KPMG will respond and also give an advisor’s perspective on when, how and if we need philanthropy advice.The seminar is based on brand new market research of over 1,000 adults aged 16+ by Behaviour And Attitudes for Philanthropy Ireland to gauge awareness and understanding of philanthropy and its role. The research revealed differences in people’s understanding of the concept, the amounts people give and how they give.Most claim in the market research to have given something to charity 11 times in the last two years. There are very marked variations in people’s understanding of philanthropy and in their giving behaviour based on their social class age and location.Irish people are very positively disposed towards philanthropy with roughly 42% agreeing and only 7% disagreeing that philanthropy has an important role to play in shaping society in Ireland.This event, which is KPMG’s offices, 1 Harbourmaster Place, IFSC, Dublin, will begin at 07:30 and is open to professional advisors and members of Philanthropy Ireland only.www.philanthropy.ie Philanthropy Ireland seminar will discuss new research 17 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.
For the first time, England Golf will offer members and officials from golf clubs and counties the opportunity to attend an R&A Rules School hosted in England. By introducing The R&A Rules Education Programme in 2016, England Golf will offer delegates the potential to graduate through three tiers of Rules tutoring and learning. At each stage of development, there is the opportunity to sit an exam which is recognised throughout The R&A’s jurisdiction. Individuals can also achieve the ‘England Golf County Referee’ qualification via the Level 2 Rules School. Toby Thorne, Deputy Championship Director at England Golf, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with The R&A and adopt their Rules Education Programme. We hope that club managers, committee members, club pros or club members who want to become involved in tournament administration will see a clear path for their learning and development. Starting at Level 1, individuals can then decide whether they would benefit from progressing further.” Kevin Barker, Working for Golf Director at The R&A commented: “Rules education is very important to The R&A and our materials are used successfully by our affiliates around the world. It will be a pleasure to work with England Golf in delivering what we hope will be the first of many Rules Schools”. The schools are tailored to provide basic instruction for those newer to the game, as well as meeting the demands of more experienced officials looking for tournament specific guidance. England Golf will schedule a number of one-day, Level 1 Introductory Rules Schools during 2016. Dates and venues will be announced on the England Golf website in the coming weeks. In addition, the first Level 2 Rules School will be launched this summer during England Golf’s second Golf Week and will take place at Frilford Heath Golf Club on 11-12 August. Details regarding England Golf Rules Schools and education can be found by clicking here For anyone interested in learning the basics, The R&A’s online Rules Academy is the primary place to start. Caption: An England Golf referee advises on the rules during a championship (image © Leaderboard Photography). 29 Feb 2016 England Golf to introduce R&A Rules Schools in 2016
Jake McNichol, a spokesman for the state EDA, said that to date, the authority has approved close to $3.2 million grants for 942 businesses through the initial $5 million Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program and distributed some $3 million to 892 of those businesses. In addition, it has approved another $1 million and distributed most of that to small businesses in Atlantic County with funding from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The other bill (A-3959) would create a new no-interest loan program to small hospitality businesses impacted by the pandemic. To qualify, a business could have no more than $2 million in annual revenue if open for more than a year, or less than $1 million in annual revenue if open for a shorter time. Loans could be used to cover immediate, unavoidable expenses, with payments deferred for the first nine months after the start date. Story reprinted with permission from NJ Spotlight. Visit NJSpotlight.com for more statewide news updates. In addition to allowing bars and brewers to deliver up to 16-ounce mixed drinks in a sealed container to residents, the Assembly Appropriations Committee voted to create two loan programs for small bars, restaurants and craft alcohol producers, among the numerous businesses that have been struggling through the seven-week shutdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Legislators also backexpanding and creatingnew loans for small bars,restaurants, craft alcoholproducers Alcohol takeout, delivery allowed for six months A bill (A-3966) sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), who chairs the committee, seeks to codify the sale of beverages made by the state’s brewers, wineries, cideries, and distilleries and go a bit further. It would permit any business with a retail consumption license or distillery to sell mixed drinks in pint containers and other alcoholic beverages in containers of any size for takeout or delivery, with that permission extended for six months after the end of the current required closure of these businesses. Since Gov. Phil Murphy began shutting down businesses on March 16, including all bars and restaurants except for takeout orders, the state has made exceptions for alcohol. For instance, when he closed virtually all businesses on March 21, Murphy classified liquor stores as an “essential business,” allowing them to remain open. The governor also allowed for takeout and delivery of beer from the dozens of craft breweries around the state. More seriously, the bill would exempt from the state’s alcohol excise tax of $5.50 per gallon any alcohol used by distilleries to make hand sanitizer. Several have switched production to help compensate for the shortage of sanitizer, often donating it to first responders. By Colleen O’Dea – NJ Spotlight “The NJEDA’s perfor- mance, in my opinion, has been very disappointing to date,” said Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-Morris). “I would just like to see us as a body, as a Legislature, as a committee, to put some pressure on the EDA … to deliver to these small businesses in need in a time of crisis and put the money in their hands and put the money in their hands now and not delay these programs any further.” Webber and other Republican members of the committee also supported two bills that would open additional no-or low-in-terest loan programs for craft brewers and those in the hospitality industry, although they complained that the state Economic Development Authority (EDA), which would provide these loans, has not been moving fast enough to give out money under existing programs. “I think that’s the least we can do for very civic-minded small business owners who are doing their part to try to keep people safe,” said Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris), who voted for the bill. No-or low-interest loans for hospitality business Virtually all of the bills the state Legislature has passed since it stopped meeting in person in the State House due to concerns over the virus were done as emergency measures. Legislative leaders had said they wanted to resume the deliberative process that happens in committees. While Monday’s hearing was quick, there was at least some limited input from the public and lobbyists on a few of the measures and some of the bills, which had been recently introduced, were amended. The article originally appeared in the May 7th – May 13th, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. Monday marked the first legislative committee hearing ever to take place remotely, via teleconference. The committee considered eight bills dealing with issues related to the pandemic, all of which passed without opposition and only a few hiccups due to the technology. EDA is still analyzing3,500 loan applications ithas received requestingmore than $250 millionfrom the Small BusinessEmergency AssistanceLoan Program and plansto distribute that money assoon as possible. “Due to the nature of the loan program, the review is more complex and will take longer to complete than for the grant program,” McNichol said. “The loan program review requires financial analysis to determine the ability to repay the loan under the program eligibility and terms. We are committed to providing businesses with much needed support while completing a thorough review that upholds our commitments to fiscal responsibility and accountability.” Helping small alcoholproducers One of the two new loan programs the committee approved in A-3965 would expand an existing EDA loan program to small alcoholic beverage producers those with no more than 10 employees for operating expenses during a state of emergency. Currently, vineyards and wineries are eligible but not other small craft brewers or distillers. These loans would carry an interest rate of up to three percentage points above the prime rate. This permission is needed because the state has strict laws about who can sell alcohol and how it is sold. Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson), sponsor of the bill, said it is important to assist restaurants and hotels that have been “devastated” by the pandemic and the current limitations on their operations. A 2018 article by Total Food Service reported that the state had, at the time, more than 27,000 restaurants and 1,130 hotels employing more than 400,000. “If we want our vibrant hospitality industry and its many employees to make it through this crisis, we must give these small businesses the tools they need to weather the pandemic until we can safely come together to once again enjoy all they have to offer,” he said. The measures still need approval by the full Assembly and Senate before being sent to Murphy for his consideration. New Jerseyans who have been missing that signature martini, sangria or other cocktail could soon be able to not only get spirits with their takeout order, but even have drinks delivered under one of three bills an Assembly committee cleared Monday that are aimed at helping the state’s hospitality industry. It was the last bill the committee considered, prompting Burzichelli to joke, “In the motion picture business, the last shot of the day is called the martini shot. This is the martini bill. How appropriate it is that it involves cocktails.”
By Allison Perrine The Rumson Police Department has, like Oceanport, also noted an overall decrease in call volume since social distancing orders started. Borough residents have reported some car thefts, however, and the department is getting calls concerning violations of the governor’s executive orders. That includes residents outside with others, not wearing masks or face coverings. Kelly also minimized staffing in the department’s building at the beginning of the pandemic to avoid having officers in close quarters. Some were given administrative days at home, allowing them to be on-call but not in the office. Rumson Borough Police Chief Scott Paterson also has his officers in the proper PPE for serious and crisis calls, but they are keeping their distance as much as possible. They do not enter a house without proper equipment, he said. According to Oceanport Police Chief Michael P. Kelly, this issue is not unique to the borough or even to the county, as it is happening across the state. The belief is that there are two rings of criminals operating out of North Jersey who are stealing high-end cars and items inside them, like wallets and cash. But in March, there were a reported 30 car burglaries on the east side of Oceanport; two cars were stolen and later recovered in Newark. In April, in the Kimberly Woods section of town, there were four or five vehicle burglaries. According to Kelly, these rings usually take the cars, put them in containers and ship them overseas to be sold. There has been, however, an uptick in car burglaries in the area, as well as scam calls and first aid calls. MONMOUTH COUNTY – Police departments in the Two River area are reporting a general decrease in call volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people stay inside and keep off the roads. The parks are open during normal posted hours, available at monmouthcountyparks.com. Parking is limited to half capacity. Park rangers monitor visitor loads and can temporarily close parks if parking lots become too full. Buildings, including restrooms, shelter buildings and picnic pavilions are still closed. Answering emergency calls during the shutdown has created certain challenges. The department is trying to handle as many calls as possible over the phone; more serious calls are handled in person. Officers who are dispatched to any crime scene must take the proper precautions to keep residents and themselves safe; they wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks and gloves. “I am so grateful to the Monmouth County Park System for handling the reopening of the parks and golf courses in such an exemplary way,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Park System, in a press release. “I have always said that we have the best park system in New Jersey and I was proud to hear that Governor Murphy, who visited Thompson Park this weekend, publicly complimented the way the County parks were set up and monitored.” There is also a bail scam going on throughout New Jersey that targets elderly community members. Scammers are gathering information about the victims, claiming to be bail collectors and telling them that a family member is in jail and needs bail money. Aside from burglaries, the Oceanport Police Department is seeing an increase in first aid calls, not necessarily related to COVID-19 cases. More people are home, and Kelly believes that’s why there have been more calls of people falling, suffering strokes and experiencing mental health issues. The department has only had a few coronavirus-related calls. “We were lucky we had a supply of PPEs,” said Kelly. “We don’t want officers, and unfortunately it’s happened, bringing the virus back to the home.” Two officers from the department have needed to self-quarantine due to potential exposures to the virus. This past weekend was a true test for New Jersey residents. It was the first weekend after Gov. Phil Murphy reopened state parks and allowed county governments to open parks and golf courses if they chose to do so. Monmouth County opted to open their facilities and, according to the freeholders, it was successful. “I feel as though with the opening of our golf course and tennis courts and stuff like that, we’re going to see an uptick in those sorts of things,” said Paterson. “We’re hoping and praying and asking for everybody to do the right thing and pay attention to all the executive orders.” “Everybody has been hitwith them in MonmouthCounty,” said Kelly. “Weusually have them, butthey’re intermittent.” “That minimizes the number of officers here. Internally, that was the one major thing we did,” said Kelly. “I prohibited officers from congregating. Roll calls were basically done via phone or email so they wouldn’t all be in one area at one time.” “They’re preying on these people and they’re actually getting them to give their information and showing up at their homes,” said Kelly. He believes residents from five county municipalities have been impacted. The article originally appeared in the May 7th – May 13th, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times.
After a disastrous start to its 2018 campaign, the College of the Redwoods mens basketball team will now turn to a new head coach after now-former head coach Aaron Hungerford was dismissed from his role following a DUI arrest early Monday morning.Darren Turpin, currently an assistant coach with the CR womens basketball team, will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the Corsairs’ season, starting on Jan. 2.CR’s Athletic Director Bob Brown said Hungerford was dismissed from his …
http://www.livescience.com/46540-liberals-dont-hate-authority.html(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Some scientists try to put conservatives and liberals in test tubes. This can cause fireworks.Shedding Colored LightPhysOrg asked a question that seems odd for a science site: “Are conservatives more obedient and agreeable than their liberal counterparts?” The article went on to clarify the questions:Over the last few years, we’ve seen increasing dissent among liberals and conservatives on important issues such as gun control, health care and same-sex marriage. Both sides often have a difficult time reconciling their own views with their opposition, and many times it appears that liberals are unable to band together under a unifying platform. Why do conservatives appear to have an affinity for obeying leadership? And why do conservatives perceive greater consensus among politically like-minded others?Two studies publishing in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shed light on these questions.It’s not clear that all observers would perceive the same things here. The dissent between liberals and conservatives is clear enough, but the article is built on subjective impressions: “it appears that” and “appear to“. To whom? Doubtless, some conservatives would deny these impressions, pointing to the last Presidential campaign and the continuing onslaught of liberal victories under the Obama administration on the one hand, and the inability of Republicans to band together on a consistent platform on the other. So are Jeremy Frimer and Chadley Stern steering their own biases to shed colored light on the question?In their surveys, they admitted that “Testing the participants perceptions proved trickier than expected,” but it’s not clear they overcame biased perceptions with their human lab rats. On Live Science, though, reporter Stephanie Pappas jumped right into the colored light with her headline, “Liberals Don’t Hate Authority After All.” The presumption is that science can be neutral, objective, and authoritative on such matters. How many participants are required to get a reasonable opinion? How were the questions framed? How did the questioners behave in terms of dress, body language and tone of voice? Many such factors could sway the results.The researchers extrapolated their results into even more dubious areas, like why the Tea Party “appeared” to succeed more than the Occupy Wall Street movement. It’s doubtful that those two movements are even comparable. Even more quizzical, the researchers considered liberal attraction to Che Guevara as a kind of submission to authority, even though Guevara was a violent radical trying to overthrow authority. On top of that, Friberg wandered outside of science to make a moral judgment: “Frimer said he hopes the findings can be used to bring left and right together.” If he were a chemist, would he hope his findings could be used to bring cesium and water together? (watch what happens here). Friberg voiced a political hope, not a scientific aim. It’s not even the best option in many contexts. If one group is wise and the other foolish, bringing them together defeats the wisdom. If one group is violent and the other peaceful, bringing them together is suicidal.Tragedy of the Liberal CommonsAnother example of scientists dabbling with politics comes from Yale University. At the outset it might be noted that economics has a bit more scientific cred than political psychology, being law-governed and mathematical, but even with that, economists tend to sort out into political ideologies. In their analysis of a “public goods” problem, to try to find solutions yielding sustainability for limited resources, they did find, fortunately, that democracy works. When participants were allowed to vote on allotments considering their own needs and those of future generations, sustainable solutions emerged (provided that votes were binding, an implicit requirement for rule of law).But the Harvard and Yale psychologists only analyzed the situation in terms of “fair share” proportions, as if assuming a zero-sum game. Conservative economists argue that economics is not a zero-sum game. Private property rights, free market economics and individual liberties actually increase goods, creating wealth and promoting prosperity for all. The people using the phrase “fair share” are wealth redistributionists (including President Obama, who uses the term often while deriding conservatives). The psychologists’ experimental setup, therefore, contained an intrinsic liberal bias—hardly a good scientific practice.Academic Freedom for TerroristsOn July 2, Nature’s editors bemoaned the decline in “academic freedom” in Egypt since the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorism-promoting international movement. This is a bit hypocritical, since Nature consistently denies academic freedom to critics of Darwin or skeptics of man-caused global warming. In this case, though, it appears they would be more willing to accept company with known supporters of terrorists than to let the Egyptian government have appointment authority over university administrators – this despite the well-known fact that in the UK and the USA, college campuses have become breeding grounds for terrorist sympathizers (read David Horowitz, a former liberal, on this, or try to find an Israel-supportive faculty in American universities). Nature moans,Right now, academic freedom in Egypt looks to be in great jeopardy. Academics outside the country can only look on in despair and hope that the strategy of the human-rights network that represents them can at least win its battle for fair treatment of the academics detained for expressing their opinions.But those detained had expressed support for ousted president Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who had been actively suppressing the academic freedom of his critics. Which “academics” should share Nature’s hope? Are academics a homogeneous group? Where is that concern for academic freedom when critics of Darwin or of man-caused global warming express their opinions, backing them up with scientific data? Nature is supposed to be a science journal, but its editors inserted their liberal bias into the fireworks of Egypt, apparently more concerned for the rights of terrorist sympathizers than the ones trying to suppress the violent radicals who blow up college campuses, ending every academic’s freedom.The world has gone crazy. A prime reason is the abandonment of the principles of America’s Declaration of Independence. This July 4th, take a moment to re-read that great statement of God-given rights that anchors human happiness firmly in belief in creation. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The truth of creation is self-evident. No amount of scientific manipulation can change that.
Hundreds of devoted fans gathered at ORTambo International on Monday afternoonto welcome their heroes back home. (l – r) Bryan Habana, Peter de Villiers,Gert Oosthuizen abd John Smit, withVictor Matfield at the back.(Images: Zakithi Motha)MEDIA CONTACTS • Iggy Sathekge Brand SA director: stakeholder management +27 11 483 0122RELATED ARTICLES• Rugby World Cup: back the Boks• New drive to spark local sports frenzy• Bright future for FNB stadium• Supporting SA’s sports starsSource: Southafrica.infoDespite an early exit from the Rugby World Cup, the Springboks flew the South African flag high in New Zealand, says Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola.The national rugby team arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday afternoon, and were received by hundreds of supporters who welcomed them with pride and joy. Many were carrying signs that said “Our blood’s still green”, “Well done” and “Welcome home Boks.”Senior players including Victor Matfield and captain John Smit, coach Peter de Villiers and Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula gave a media briefing upon their arrival in Johannesburg.De Villiers expressed his gratitude at the warm reception. “Thank you. I have never felt more humbled in my life,” he said. “South Africa is the greatest country in the world.”Deputy minister of sport Gert Oosthuizen said the Springboks could still stand tall.“There’s no doubt that this exit has been heartbreaking and extremely painful, after we won everything in the final match except on the scoreboard,” he said. “You fought so hard to retain the cup and you are really national heroes.”Other players in the squad are expected back home on Tuesday and Wednesday.The Springboks lost their quarterfinal game by the narrowest of margins. Although they dominated the game, their opponents, the Australian Wallabies, somehow escaped with an 11-9 victory on Sunday in Wellington.‘Millions of South Africans have played their part’“Despite their loss the Springbok team has made the South African nation proud,” Matola said in a statement after the game.“Throughout the country, indeed throughout the world, millions of South Africans have played their part by waving our flag with hope and wearing our jersey with pride – all in support of our team.“Once again we have demonstrated the unifying and uplifting power of sport. Indeed, we are world-renowned not just for sporting excellence but for showing how sport can unite a nation and make history.”Interviewed on the field after the game, Springbok captain John Smit said: “It’s just sad the way it ended. It really was a ding-dong battle between two good teams.”Asked how it felt to lose a match his team had dominated so much, Smit said: “It makes it hurt that much more. We really went in at half-time saying we need to hold onto the ball and get through phases. We did that and were patient.“You know, a couple of missed opportunities, a drop kick, a try with Fourie [du Preez], a forward pass to Patty [Lambie]. We did enough to win this game, but we just weren’t accurate enough.”‘Keep the spirit alive’Matola said that South Africans living in Zealand, along with those who had made the journey to watch the World Cup, had “further enhanced our reputation for friendliness, passion and pride in our nation.“As Brand South Africa, we call upon every South African to continue to keep the pride, passion and spirit of our Rugby World Cup campaign alive.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Elizabeth WilliamsDTN Special CorrespondentINDIANOLA, Iowa (DTN) — A 67-acre tract of farmland in Sioux County, Iowa, brought $18,300 per acre at auction earlier this month.In September, Hertz Farm Management had 10 sales at $10,000 or more per acre and eight sales above $11,000 per acre for corn and soybean ground, CEO Randy Hertz told DTN.These sales may be isolated cases in today’s market, but the trend of steady-to-slightly higher land values is not. Farmland brokers report sales around the Midwest continue to attract strong buying interest, primarily from farmers.Farm profits have been hard to come by in recent years and are no longer the driving force of the land market. Instead, farmland values’ stability has helped farmers weather the storm of low commodity prices. But with little change seen to agriculture’s economic outlook, DTN takes a look at what’s holding land values up — inventory, interest rates, income and investment — and what it would take for them to tumble in this two-part series, Land’s Linchpin.LOW INVENTORY MEETS LIMITED INCENTIVE TO SELLFarmland owners have few incentives to sell.In the old days, a retiring farm couple would sell the farm, buy a house in town and live comfortably in retirement. They didn’t necessarily want to rent their farm because the prevailing crop share leases were risky.In contrast, today’s cash rents are relatively risk-free, and it doesn’t take a large number of rental acres to generate a secure retirement income for a frugal farm couple. For an older couple looking for a safe investment, renting out a farm is attractive, providing a 2.5% to 3% return in annual cash rental income compared to the less than 2% return they’d earn on a certificate of deposit at a bank.In fact, 60% of the farmland in Iowa is owned by people 65 years and older.“People like owning land,” said Winnie Stortzum, a farmland broker with Farmers National Company in Arcola, Illinois. “They know the investment. They like the investment, and they are comfortable with it.”Stortzum said he spoke with a 73-year-old investor who bought a farm for $10,550 per acre this spring.“He has never been married; has no heirs, no nieces or nephews. He said, ‘I know I shouldn’t be buying land at this age, but I just like the investment.’ And he is looking into charities to leave his land to,” Stortzum said.Tax laws also disincentivize farmland sales. If you hold your land until you die, your heirs get a step-up in basis and do not have to pay capital gains tax on the farmland if they sell it for market value at the time of your death. If, however, you sell that land while you are alive, you pay tax on all the capital gain since you bought or inherited the ground. Consequently, most farmland sales today are estate sales.Another reason farm owners aren’t selling: They don’t need to. Eighty-two percent of Iowa farmland is owned free of debt, according to a 2017 survey by Iowa State University. This is up from 62% in 1982 and 78% in 2012.“That provides huge stability in the land market,” Hertz said.Despite lower farm profits and declining working capital, lenders are not pressuring for a large number of land sales because many farmers have adequate net worth to weather lean times. A recent report by USDA’s Economic Research Service that looked at measures of solvency, liquidity and repayment capacity found that only 10% to 15% of farms were classified as being under financial stress.It’s important to remember that not all farmers are losing money, either, said Howard Halderman with Halderman Farm Management and Real Estate Services, based in Wabash, Indiana. “Farmers have had the opportunity to sell over $4 cash corn and over $10 soybeans the past three to four years and over two to three weeks” each time, he told DTN.The tough growing season has also created regional basis opportunities.“And this fall, cash basis for corn in southern Minnesota was 5 to 10 cents over the Chicago futures price when it’s usually 40 cents under the Chicago price,” said Moe Russell with Russell Consulting Group in Panora, Iowa. That’s because buyers are worried about availability of quality grain, he said.“Farmers who are good marketers have been able to hold their own financially, even in these tough times,” he said.Also, not all places had crop failures or lower-than-average yields this year. Corn yields in the area of that eye-popping farmland sale this year are over 200 bushels per acre while soybeans are yielding 50-70 bpa.Farmers aren’t selling, and they are doing most of the farmland buying.“In our farm sales this year, 70% to 75% of the buyers were operating farmers,” Halderman said. “It’s been closer to 50-50 farmers to investors the past few years.”INTEREST RATES DRAW ACCOLADESIn agriculture, you can’t say enough good things about low interest rates.“It keeps interest expenses low for operating farmers,” said farm consultant Russell.“When interest rates on bank CDs are frustratingly low, farmland investment is attractive,” said Stortzum.“People look at hard assets that retain value [rather than invest in financial instruments],” noted Texas A&M economist Charles Gilliland.Low interest rates make borrowing for land purchases more affordable and keep the cost of servicing debt payments low.“I borrowed some money to buy some farms and locked in 3.25%, fixed for 10 years,” said Murray Wise, a farmland broker and investor. “I kind of felt sorry for the banker.”The general economy also benefits from low interest rates, he said, by forestalling a recession. “The prime rate at 5 and moving down is a positive sign for the economy. And all the big banks are making phenomenal money with a rather conservative portfolio.”SAFETY NET PAYMENTS HELP CASH FLOWOhio State University ag economist Barry Ward said the safety net in agriculture is pretty strong.“Subsidized crop insurance helps put a floor in place. ARC-PLC government payments aren’t that high now, but still protect a significant downside. And Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments and the prevent plant program this year have helped farmers with cash flow,” Ward explained.USDA authorized $14 billion for MFP payments this growing season that will be divided up into three payments, the first of which farmers have already received. The remaining two are dependent on the status of trade negotiations, with USDA currently planning on cutting checks in November and January.Farmers with prevented planting claims this year will also be paid an additional 10% under a disaster assistance bill.Ward said the unfortunate part of that arrangement is there’s no knowing how long support will continue since both of those are ad hoc programs.That uncertainty, along with other challenges to corn demand, could lead to tighter incomes over time.“There’s a question mark on the ethanol industry, so we’ll see what happens there,” Ward said.SECTION 1031 TAX-DEFERRED LAND EXCHANGES FACILITATE DEVELOPMENTFarmland continues to be converted to suburban houses and business sites. A recent study by the American Farmland Trust found that 31 million acres were lost to development between 1992 and 2012, including 11 million acres of the nation’s best agricultural land.For perspective, that’s 175 acres per hour of agricultural land lost to development, or 3 acres per minute.In the Texas Panhandle, as around the U.S., these exchanges are helping to prop up farm and ranch values, Gilliland said.“Landowners surrounding cities, such as Lubbock, look for other ag property to exchange into and avoid paying high capital gains taxes on land they sold for development,” he said.Land exchanges are not a huge portion of land sales, but they are still significant. The Iowa chapter of the Realtors Land Institute estimated in 2019 that potential buyers using 1031 Exchanges influenced up to 20% of the farmland auctions, either by buying or bidding.(KM/ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.