MT. JULIET, Tenn. (DTN) -- Nationally, farmers paid an average cash rent of $148 for an acre of cropland in 2022. That average is $7, or about 5%, higher than in 2021, according to USDA data.
In the Corn Belt, cash rents have climbed steadily higher since 2020, said Luke Worrell, owner of Worrell Land Services, on a recent Farmdoc webinar. In some places, rents are up 25% or more in just a few years.
"It's hard to negotiate cash rents a year in advance," Worrell said, adding many farmers are in the process of doing so now. "You have to go back and look at what we have seen in 2021 and 2022, and that's a huge increase in farmland values, and therefore a pretty substantial rise in cash rents."
Cash rents are reactive, he said, adding many of 2023's rents will be established with 2022 in mind.
"When it comes to these studies, real time moves a lot faster than the data can come out," he said. You can view the entire webinar here: https://app.usda-reports.penguinlabs.net/….
USDA's survey, which includes data from about 250,000 farmers with $1,000 or more in agricultural sales, is conducted each year from mid-February until June and released in August.
Unlike many USDA reports, the cash rent data is released into NASS' Quick Stats database without a detailed report. You can find the raw data, which includes more detailed data for irrigated cropland and pasture, here: https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/….
Once again, USDA's report showed the highest average cash rents in states that grow specialty crops. Arizona edged out California this year to claim the highest average cash rental rate -- $336 per acre, up from $325 last year. California farmers pay an average of $331, while growers in Hawaii pay $271 per acre.
Only one of the states included in USDA's national summary showed a decline in cash rents from 2021 to 2022, and that was in Florida, where the average cash rent slipped from $127 per acre to $121.
For the 10 states featured here, changes in cropland cash rent values range from $6 to $23 per acre higher. DTN included several states in its analysis that farmers may not consider a part of the traditional Corn Belt but that produce a sizeable quantity of corn, soybeans, wheat and other small grains.
Iowa maintained its place atop the list of most expensive states to pay cash rent. The average cash rent in Iowa climbed $23, or 10%, from 2021 to $256 per acre.
The average cash rent in Illinois averaged $243 per acre, which beats the all-time high of $234 set in 2013. It's a $16-per-acre increase, or 7%, above 2021.
Indiana farmers paid an average cash rent of $212 per acre in 2022, up $12 from the year before.
Nebraska trails Indiana's average cash rent by $1. Historically, these two states battle for third and fourth place on the list. Nebraska farmers paid an average of $211 per acre, or about 7% more than in 2021.
The average cash rent in Minnesota climbed $8 to $185 per acre. Minnesota's annual change came in toward the low end of the range this year after leading the pack with a $13-per-acre increase from 2020 to 2021.
Ohio growers paid $10 per acre more in cash rent in 2022 than they did in 2021. The statewide average was $170 per acre.
With a statewide cash rent average of $157 per acre, Kentucky farmers are paying $7 per acre more than they did last year.
Up from No. 9 on last year's list, the average cash rent in Wisconsin climbed $11 to $149 per acre.
Missouri also climbed a spot on this year's list with its average statewide cropland rent of $147 per acre. It's $10 per acre more than last year.
In Michigan, the average cash rent climbed by $6 per acre, which allowed Wisconsin and Missouri to move up the list while it fell back to No. 10. On average, rent was $144 per acre.
You can find last year's list of top 10 cash rent states here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….
Katie Dehlinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow her on Twitter at @KatieD_DTN
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