Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

August 16, 2013

Midwest, Iowa farm values steady

OTTUMWA — Iowa's farmland values held steady in the second quarter of 2013, but there were fluctuations depending on where you live.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago says Iowa values were unchanged for the quarter, but up 18 percent compared to the second quarter of 2012. That year-to-year gain closely matches the overall gain in the district, which includes most of the midwest.

The district as a whole also saw no quarterly gains, the first time since 2009 that has happened.

The bank divides Iowa into five districts, with southeast Iowa split between the third and fifth district. In the third district, which includes south-central and southeast Iowa to about Lee County, quarterly values actually fell 9 percent. But the fifth district, which includes areas along the Mississippi River and westward into Mahaska and Keokuk counties, saw a 6 percent quarterly gain.

Experts are split on what the future holds. The federal reserve said the percentage of banks expecting prices to rise in the third quarter is the same as the percentage expecting a quarterly decline. The vast majority, 86 percent, expect values to stay approximately the same.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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