Minding Ag's Business

Regional Look at Surging Farmland Values

Katie Micik Dehlinger
By  Katie Micik Dehlinger , Farm Business Editor
Farmland values are challenging records set in 2013-14 across the Corn Belt, rebounding after five years of slowly eroding prices. (Progressive Farmer images by Getty Images)

The farmland market has more interested buyers than sellers right now. Combined with lower interest rates, strong commodity prices and low inventory, it's a recipe for higher prices that I explored in the article "Unseasonably Hot Farmland Market Challenges Records Set in 2013-14" that you can read here:

That article looks at the market broadly, but as most farmers know, the land market is incredibly local. Crop land is different than pastureland, and each region has its own trends. Farmers National Company, one of the nation's largest agricultural land services companies, recently published a breakdown of regional results.

In Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, buyers are actively pushing prices higher, nearing 2014's peak values.

"Iowa cropland prices statewide are up 13% since January while Illinois's prices are up 10%," observed David Whitaker, area sales manager for Farmers National Company.

Missouri increases are smaller but still significant. "We are seeing $13,000, $14,000 and $15,000 per acre sales for good cropland at our recent auctions. Medium quality farms are also selling well now, which is a change from the past few years," Whitaker said.

Prices for good cropland in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky are up 9% to 11%, according to Linda Brier, the Farmers National Company area sales manager in the region.

"We have seen sales well over $13,000 per acre for good cropland. Price levels vary by state, but good cropland is strong everywhere," according to Brier. "Prices have definitely increased since fall and even more so since the first of the year."

It's the same story for cropland in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, where prices are up 10% to 15%, but ranch and pastureland aren't seeing the same kinds of gains. While investor buyers are showing interest in the West River region, drought concerns have tempered a lot of buying interest in the most susceptible areas, said Brian Mohr, the Farmers National sales manager for the region.

In Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas land prices are up 10% to 12%, said Paul Schadegg, that area's sales manager for Farmers National Company. Prices for dryland farms are also strengthening after a long period of low demand. "There is now more demand for average to lower quality land than there has been for a number of years," he said.

You can find more information about Farmers National Company's June land values report here: https://www.pappasmarketing.com/…

Katie Dehlinger can be reached at Katie.dehlinger@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter @KatieD_DTN


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