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Watch farmland sales and prices for real estate story leads

During his regular check of area dailies and shoppers, Mark Steil of Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul noted a trend: an increasing number of ads from farmers looking for farmland. Mark says several ads identified land seekers as “young farmers.”

Mark Steil

As I listened and read the transcript, I wondered why, after this summer’s drought, land could be in such demand. The answer: “good harvests and high grain prices have fueled the land price spike,” his story says.

Mark highlights a hopeful farmer, but also relies on farmland sales data tracked by the University of Minnesota. He says a code listed on state department of revenue filings helps track the sales.

Many university agriculture programs such as Ohio State University as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago track farmland data. Although the agriculture beat is rare in many newsrooms, incorporating the sales into the real estate beat could produce some interesting stories.

Mark says he scans headlines from area publications’ websites once a week. He says the searches yield several stories a year.

You can listen to Mark’s report below or visit Minnesota Public Radio’s site for full coverage.

About the Author

Rosland Gammon is a former business journalist turned college instructor. Her newsroom experience includes reporting for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and reporting and editing at Bloomberg News. Gammon currently teaches communications at Alverno College in Milwaukee. Follow her daily posts. | E-mail: Rosland Gammon

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