Mark Shepherd’s 106 Acre Permaculture Farm in Viola, Wisconsin (Energy Bulletin)
by Chuck Burr
Excerpt: Mark follows the keyline technique and has made a vast network of small pocket ponds and spreader swales to slow and spread rain water and to heal gully erosion. His application of contour planting on the rolling coulee hillsides has a sublimely pleasing visual effect.
Trees are planted in a much higher density than a typical Oregon or California orchard. “It’s primarily for Luther Burbank style mass selection breeding If you’re going to plant seedlings and if you’re going to discover and sell new varieties, you’ve got to de-select a lot of material. Planting at low densities is like playing Yahtzee with only 3 dice, you can’t do it. I like to play Yahtzee with a thousand dice!”
Fed Policy May Spur Farmland Bubble: Inflation, Interest Rate Questions Reminiscent of 1970s (DTN Progressive Farmer)
by Katie Micik
Excerpt: Conditions are right for a bubble in farmland values, Kansas City Federal Reserve Chairman Thomas Hoenig told an agriculture bankers’ conference Monday.
“I don’t predict bubbles, I know that that’s hazardous, but I do know when conditions are right for bubbles,” he said to the American Bankers Association North American Agricultural Lenders conference in Omaha on Monday.
Farmland prices have been on the rise nationwide and much of that land is owned free and clear, unlike the highly leveraged position prior to the farmland crash of the 1980s, Hoenig noted.
Also See (Related): Letter From the Editor: What to Think When They Call Farmland a Bubble
by DTN Editor Urban C. Lehner
Summary: Farmland prices are rising. Wall Street investors are moving in. Monetary policy is loose. That doesn’t mean farmland is a “bubble,” but it is a reason to think about the issue.