Top Ten Cash Rents by County 2022

Top Ten Counties With the Most Expensive Cash Rents in 2022

Susan Payne
By  Susan Payne , DTN Social Media and Young Farmer Editor
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Approximately 39% of the 911 million acres of farmland in the United States is rented, according to the USDA's U.S. Farmland Ownership, Tenure and Transfer report. (Chart courtesy USDA)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Eight Illinois counties have the most expensive cash rental rates among 891 Corn Belt counties included in an annual USDA survey.

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. You can find the raw data, which includes more detailed information for irrigated cropland and pasture, here:…

The agency published estimates for 891 counties across the Corn Belt. However, it's worth noting USDA didn't receive enough answers to its surveys in some counties to publish estimates, which is the case for several high-yielding counties in Illinois, like McLean.

Iowa's statewide average rent, at $256 per acre, beat out Illinois' average of $243 per acre, which isn't surprising considering the lower third of the Prairie State's poorer soils command lower rental rates. You can find a state-by-state review of average cash rents here:…

But the state also has some of the most productive corn and soybean growing counties in the nation, which is why it's a dominant player on this list. Here is the list of highest cash rent prices per acre among these ten states: Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Missouri and Michigan.

1) Piatt County, Illinois, $331 per acre

Piatt County climbed to the top of the list of most expensive counties to pay cash rent. In 2021, the county ranked second highest at $297 per acre, ahead of Macon County, Illinois, which averaged at $311 per acre in 2021.

2) Moultrie County, Illinois, $331 per acre

In a tossup for the most expensive counties to pay cash rent, Moultrie County is averaging $331 per acre. In 2021, Moultrie held the same cash-per-acre average as Piatt County and held the same dollar-per-dollar increase between 2021 and 2022.

3) Logan County, Illinois, $319 per acre

Logan County averaged $319 per acre, a $28 increase from its 2021 average at $291 per acre.

4) Macon County, Illinois, $311 per acre

Averaging at $311 in 2022, Macon County held the highest cash per acre average in 2021 but remained steady with the same average held in 2022.

5) Christian County, Illinois, $308 per acre

Christian County averaged $308 per acre, a $30 increase from the year prior's $278.

6) Grundy County, Iowa, $304 per acre

Slightly below Christian County, Grundy County in Iowa averaged $304 per acre in 2022, a $28 increase from 2021's $276 per acre average cash rent.

7) Douglas County, Illinois, $298 per acre

Averaging $298 per acre, Douglas County saw an increase of $31 from its previous year average of $267.

8) De Witt County, Illinois, $296 per acre

De Witt County had an average cash rent of $296 per acre, an increase of $21 from its previous year average of $275.

9) Sioux County, Iowa, $295 per acre

Sioux County saw the largest increase in the top 10 from the year prior, with the average rent climbing to $295 in 2022 from $255 in 2021, at 16% increase.

10) Coles County, Illinois, $293 per acre

Coles County had the second largest increase year-over-year among the top 10 most expensive counties, with rents growing from $258 in 2021 to $293 per acre in 2022.

Katie Dehlinger, DTN Farm Business Editor, contributed to this report.

Susan Payne can be reached at

Or you can find her on Twitter at @jpusan

Susan Payne

Susan Payne
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