December 01, 2023

Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference is May 17

Topics will include an agricultural economy and policy outlook, weather outlook, soil health science and policy issues

By Chad Hart

Extension Economist

A robust farm economy, soil health and land values are topics that will drive discussion at the 95th annual Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference May 17 in Ames.

The average acre of Iowa farmland increased roughly 17% last year, according to results of the Iowa State University Land Value Survey, released in November. Many variables that have supported that growth continue to evolve in today’s agricultural landscape and will be part of the discussion at the conference.

In-person event

This year’s conference will be offered in person at Iowa State University’s Scheman Building from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The in-person registration fee is $150.

Planting soybeans in Iowa.”This year’s program will examine several hot topics in rural property management, appraisal and transactions, as well as topics impacting the overall agricultural economy, such as animal disease outbreaks and the weather outlook,” said Chad Hart, professor in economics and extension economist at Iowa State. “The speakers for the conference provide a great mix of information on the science, policy and practical application on these issues.”

Five major current issues and their implications to soil management and land valuation will be discussed. The topics include the U.S. and global agricultural economy and policy outlook, a panel discussion on soil health research and programs, a weather outlook and its impacts on agricultural production, a session on animal diseases and government responses to those outbreaks, and an update on federal and state changes to agricultural laws and tax codes. In addition, there will be shorter sessions exploring the land value forecasts of the participants and the outlook for crop prices over the past year.

Networking opportunities

The conference offers networking opportunities for professionals who have an interest in agricultural land, land management and land valuation. Additionally, participants have the opportunity through an online survey pre-conference to “gaze into their crystal balls,” and will be asked to provide their estimates of future land values in Iowa and corn and soybean prices via an online survey distributed before the conference.

Sponsored by Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and ISU Extension and Outreach, the Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference is intended for farm managers, rural appraisers, real estate brokers and others interested in the land market in Iowa. This is the longest running conference at Iowa State in both research and extension with 2023 being the 95th annual meeting in this series.

If approved by the relevant boards, participants can receive 6.5 hours of real estate continuing education credits from the Iowa Real Estate Commission, and 7 hours of appraiser continuing education credits from the Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board.

Other presenters from Iowa State will include Marshall McDaniel, associate professor in agronomy, and Kristine Tidgren, director of the Center for Ag Law and Taxation and adjunct associate professor in agricultural education.

Register online at

For questions regarding the conference content, contact Chad Hart at 515-294-9911 or