The New Year will bring changes for owners of utility and farm trailers in Nebraska. From January 1, owners of utility or farm trailers will be asked to include the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of their utility or farm trailer when registering their trailer for the first time, or when renewing their registration. If the trailer does not have a VIN, or if the VIN is unknown, the County Treasurer office will provide one. The County Treasurer will also provide a decal to display the assigned VIN on the trailer at no additional cost to the owner.
“This is an important step to bringing the registration of utility and farm trailers into line with other, similar types of trailer,” said Rhonda Lahm, Director of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. “By including the VIN, or allocating a VIN to a trailer which doesn’t have one, we are able to track ownership of trailers more accurately. In the event of theft, a VIN displayed on the trailer and registration document will assist in pairing the trailer with its owner.”
Currently, Nebraska residents are not required to provide a VIN to the County Treasurer office when registering a utility or farm trailer. In 2017, there were 184,770 utility and 81,784 farm trailers registered in Nebraska.
“Without a VIN recorded on the registration document, it can be a challenge to track ownership of a trailer,” said Betty Johnson, Administrator of the Driver and Vehicle Records Division. “We have been working closely with County Treasurer offices and agricultural groups to prepare for the upcoming changes. Existing utility and farm trailer owners do not need to do anything until their trailer registration is renewed. At that time, they can renew their trailer as normal and include the trailer VIN to ensure it is properly registered. The new information will ensure greater consistency in how trailers are registered and result in us providing a more comprehensive service to our customers.”
New trailer registration is completed at the owner’s local County Treasurer office. Renewals can be completed online at dmv.nebraska.gov, by mail, or at their local County Treasurer office.
Ag producers from across the Midwest came to Kearney to learn more about pulse crops at UNL’s Pulse Crop Expo. The expo was started with opening keynote speaker Luscas Haag, a K-State researcher with nearly a decade of pulse experience. Haag spoke to producers about the plant properties and his current research in growing pulses. Following the opening keynote producers had numerous breakout sessions to choose from. As well as networking opportunities with the seed dealers and end users that were also in attendance. The expo has been spearheaded by UNL extension researcher Strahinja Stepanovic and he was excited to see the strong producer turnout.
Pulses are a leguminous crop that are harvested solely for the dry seed. Dried beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses.
For many farmers in Nebraska and surrounding states pulses are becoming a popular cover crop option. There use as livestock feed and forage is also starting to gain popularity. One organic operation near Bertrand Nebraska is using pea’s in their crop rotation to help battle palmer amaranth.
Over the last year ag producers have become accustom to volatile international trade and its effect on commodity markets. The UNL Pulse Crop Expo offered an opportunity to for some to see if pulses could be a cash crop alternative. Todd Schulz, of the USA dry pea and lentil council, showed that pulses are under the same pressure as general commodities like corn, soybeans and wheat.
LINCOLN –Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) applauded news that President Donald J. Trump had signed the Farm Bill into law.
“Thank you to the entire Nebraska federal delegation for their support of the Farm Bill and to President Trump for signing it into law. With an extended period of low commodity prices, a new five-year Farm Bill gives Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers much-needed stability and certainty. This is a win for the people of Nebraska who help feed the world,” said Governor Ricketts. “Additionally, Nebraska appreciates President Trump’s proposal to allow for work requirements for able-bodied adults participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). I want to specifically thank Senator Ben Sasse for his leadership in this area. Nebraska has a voluntary program to help SNAP families get better jobs and to become more financially independent. Giving more flexibility in this area can help states as we work to encourage more people to take advantage of the great opportunities we have available.”
“The 2018 Farm Bill supports nutrition programs, international trade, research, animal disease prevention programs, and conservation,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “It’s a long-term investment in agriculture and it provides producers with tools to help them succeed. I appreciate the work done by Senator Deb Fischer and Representative Don Bacon on their respective ag committees to help move this bill forward to President Trump’s desk. Passage of the bill ensures that farmers, ranchers, and consumers have access to critical programs and services and the certainty of a safety net in a struggling ag economy.”
Farmers and ranchers love accumulating assets, land in particular, but when markets are down and the outlook uncertain, sometimes there comes a point when it’s time to see if you can cash out and move on.
That’s the story behind Nebraska’s most expensive farm real estate listing. Anthony Zeman of Bassett, Nebraska, is asking $34 million for his irrigated crop and beef operation in the north-central Sandhills — $20 million more than the next highest value property on the market.
The 59-year-old beef producer spent 14 years accumulating and improving 10,343 acres of farm and ranchland, which includes 44 center pivots on 5,640 acres. On the remaining 4,700 acres, Zeman currently runs 2,300 cow/calf pairs and has a 2,500-head open-air feeding facility with 3,600 linear feet of concrete bunks and 24 feeding pens.
Irrigated corn yields average 180 to 230 bushels per acre and soybean yields average 60 to 70 bpa. Alfalfa ground produces about 7 tons per acre with four to five cuttings per season. The operation has 51 registered irrigation wells and four stock wells, and none of them are subject to water restrictions or pumping limits on the irrigation units.
“We’ve had a lot of interest. An operation this unique and large doesn’t come up for sale very often,” said Tom Metzger with Hall and Hall, an agricultural brokerage and mortgage firm handling the sale. “The seller wants to sell it all together and not split it up. However, if we find a couple of buyers with different interests, we could divide the farm, but we want to close the sale at one time.”
Hall and Hall listed the ranch for sale in early April.
Metzger said Zeman’s sons don’t want to be involved with the ranch long term, and Zeman wants to slow down, quit working so hard, reduce risk and enjoy life more.
A recent report from Farmers National Company finds there’s less land on the market — particularly high-quality farmland — than usual. Yet, after steady declines in farm income and rising interest rates, concern is growing that the farmland market may not be able to maintain its stability.
“Individual landowners and investors are both scratching their heads as to the current land market and where it might go,” the report states. “It is as if there are two land markets: one that says it is a good time to sell and one that indicates that it is time to invest in land.”
The report finds land values in the Southern Plains range from stable to down 10% compared to last year, with the variances occurring in quality and location.
Paul Schadegg, a Farmers’ National sales manager for the region, said there’s a mix of sellers in the market, but the most common type of seller is similar to the Zemans, selling to either retire or settle an estate. He expects a rising number of distressed farm sales later this year.
Zeman’s asking price — at $34 million — is stratospheric compared to other ranches on the market. There are only about six other Nebraska farm and ranch listings that currently top $10 million, according to www.landsofamerica.com, an online database of rural property listings. There are another handful of Nebraska farm and ranch listings in the $6.5 million range, and those tend to be large grass and hunting ranches.
In Kansas, only three large ranches are listed for more than $10 million, topping out at $16.8 million, in Sharon Springs, Comanche and Morrowville.
South Dakota has six ranches for sale with price tags above $10 million. The most expensive is listed at $55.6 million for 3,800 deeded acres in Buffalo, with additional grazing permit land. An irrigated ranch near Mission with 5,583 acres is asking $32.9 million.
Expensive ranches are not unusual in the mountain west. Montana has 53 ranch listings costing more than $10 million. And, if you’re not out of spare change yet, there is a 56,000-acre ranch in Routt County, Colorado (county seat: Steamboat Springs) that can be yours for $100 million.