Newman, Thompson, and Gray

Newman, Thompson, and Gray Law Firm. A general practice firm serving the Forest City area since 1997.

Ask us how Estate Planning can save your family time and money.

Newman, Thomspon, and Gray can assist you will all your estate planning needs.

Farmland Auctions

Mark Newman has over 25 years of experience as an auctioneer. He graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering in 1988 and is a member of the Iowa Auctioneer's Association.

Newman, Thompson, and Gray

Serving Forest City and the surrounding community since 1997.

Newman, Thompson and Gray

Serving the North Central Iowa community since 1997.


Posted December 31, 2015

The New Year May See Renewed Demand for Iowa Land

The last day of the Old Year saw prices for good quality Iowa farm land at about $9,000 per acre.  This is not based on 'averages' or reported sales, but on anecdotal observations in North Central Iowa.   Sales are good with more investor buyers and 1031 rollers out there looking across the borders into Iowa.

Danny Thomas of CBRE, a Real Estate Trade Publication, said recently, " Farmland investments appeal to pension and sovereign funds with significant amounts of cash."

This presents some problems for corporate buyers of Iowa land, as Iowa Code 9H basically prohibits most companies from owning much  Iowa Farmland. 

That law  says an authorized farm corporation includes those with 25 or fewer shareholders.

To be a family farm corporation, the corporation must be founded for the purpose of farming and owning farmland, and those owning a majority of the voting stocks and a majority of the shareholders must be related. Also, 60% or more of the gross revenues must come from farming. Most investment companies, trusts and LLCs can only own land if they meet those requirements. 

Some experts are eyeing Iowa Land and have stated that they believe that investors may 'work their way through" such impediments, and "ultimately, they won'd be an impediment to investment."

Why anti corporate farming laws?   A corporation owes a duty to shareholders to maximize profits.  This is not always compatible with the idea of sustainable farming.  

A 'land ethic' has been described by Professor Neil Hamilton as an ethical duty one has to keep and preserve soil fertility for future generations.    No corporate Director has any duty to unborn, future Americans.   

Professor Hamilton is right; Iowa's Anti Corporate Farm laws are good.