Agricultural land in the Midwest is some of the most valuable in the world and fortunately in recent years the value of farms across this region has continued to increase. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average value per acre of cropland in Iowa increased 19.7 percent from 2021 to 2022. In that same timeframe, those values increased in several other neighboring states as well including Nebraska at 21 percent, North Dakota at 14.1 percent, South Dakota at 18.9 percent and Minnesota at 17.6 percent (source). These favorable trends don’t just impact individual farmers and their families. The health of the agricultural sector in these state remains critical to the health of the broader economy and these increases in land values are ultimately beneficial in some form or fashion to virtually every resident across the Midwest and beyond. That’s tremendously important now given the challenges we currently face with inflation, supply shortages and more. 

That is why it is vital that we continue to protect and enhance our farmland to ensure it remains vibrant in the years and decades to come. As the CEO at Ellingson, I have worked with landowners in these states for a number of years to do just that. Specifically, we work to repair and replace drain tile that helps ensure successful production on farmland by holding water where crops need it most and draining water when there is an excess. Each individual farm is different and as a result the tiling system can range from fairly straightforward to incredibly complex. In order to be successful, we partner closely with landowners to understand the unique characteristics of their property and design a system accordingly. 

In recent years, states in the Midwest have accelerated efforts to further transform its economy by embracing renewable energy projects along with other investments that improve environmental outcomes and add economic value to the farm economy. For example, Ellingson has partnered with a number of energy utilities in these areas who have invested in renewable energy projects. In those instances, we worked closely with individual farmers to learn about their operations and drainage systems, repair tiling that was damaged during construction and replace other tiling wherever necessary. 

Ellingson is now engaging with Summit Carbon Solutions to provide this same individualized service on their proposed carbon capture and storage project. This multi-billion investment aims to reduce the carbon intensity of ethanol production to allow manufacturers to sell into profitable low-carbon fuel markets all while maintaining a strong end market for corn. Today, approximately half of all the corn grown in the United States is sold to ethanol plants and that strong marketplace is in part responsible for the healthy and increasingly profitable land values referenced earlier. Our work with landowners as part of this project is not just a one-time effort. Summit Carbon Solutions, and Ellingson as their primary drain tile vendor, will be responsible for any and all drain tile repairs resulting from the construction throughout the entire life of the project. That means the company will pay the entirety of these repairs after construction and at any point while the system is operating. The key point is that the costs associated with this work will not ever be the responsibility of the landowner. 

Our commitment is to partner with landowners to ensure their land is in as good condition or better than when construction began, with an ultimate goal of maintaining the value of the land.  

As with any project of this size, there have been questions and a fair amount of misinformation. Any landowner who has questions about our approach on this project are welcome to contact the company’s business development team at 507-676-3349. 

Roger Ellingson
CEO, Ellingson