Land Specialists Report Decrease in Iowa Land Values

Susan Payne
By  Susan Payne , DTN Social Media and Young Farmer Editor
Connect with Susan:
From March to September 2023, a survey organized by the Iowa chapter of Realtors Land Institute found that average land values in Iowa decreased by 0.2%, following the September 2022 to March 2023 period that showed a 0.8% increase in value. (Courtesy of Realtors Land Institute -- Iowa Chapter).

OMAHA (DTN) -- Farmland values in Iowa have slightly decreased over the last seven months, according to a group of Iowa farmland sales, management, development and appraisal specialists surveyed by the Iowa Realtors Land Institute (RLI) chapter.

Participants were asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of Sept. 1, 2023, for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were also requested as supplemental information.

From March to September 2023, the survey showed a minor decrease of -0.2% on a statewide average, following the September 2022 to March 2023 period that showed a 0.8% increase in value, according to a RLI press conference on Thursday.

During the conference, Matt Vegter and Elliott Siefer, land trend and values co-chairs of the RLI, said the market will continue to see larger price swings from sale to sale for similar quality land in the same geography.

"Some areas are down on yields, but net farm incomes appear to be positive," Vegter said. "If nine out of 10 sales are going to auction, maybe seven out of 10 are going now."

After double-digit increases through 2021 and 2022, the 2023 land market has confirmed its move toward leveling off, the RLI's Iowa chapter stated in a press release.

"We continue to see a struggle between rising interest rates trying to pull the market lower while positive net-farm incomes allow the market to remain supported at today's values," the chapter stated.

The number of counted respondents in this survey was between 140 and 150, Vegter said during the conference. In Iowa, the range of survey results by the Crop Reporting District is down from 2.9% in the Northwest District to the largest increase of 1.3% in the South-Central District. Timber and pasture acres showed slight gains with a 1.1% increase in timberland values and a 1.4% increase in pastureland values across the state, according to survey results.


Cortney Cowley, a senior economist for the Kansas City Federal Reserve, said during a University of Missouri webinar on Wednesday that although farmland values are strong, some ag bankers report a downturn in prices in the Central Plains after a three-year run-up in values. However, Cowley said most bankers expect farmland values to hold steady or increase moderately.

Since 2020, values have increased 33% to a national average of $5,460 per acre, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service Land Values report published in August 2023. From 2022, nationwide cropland values saw an 8.1% increase from 2022. Pasture value on average increased to $1,760 per acre, up 6.7% from 2022.

For cropland, the highest percentage change in values by region was found in the Northern Plains -- Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota -- a 14.1% increase from 2022. In the Lake States -- Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin -- the region saw a 10.9% increase in cropland values per acre. The lowest percentage change by region was found in the Delta states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi with a 2.2% increase in value per acre from 2022.


"USDA Survey Shows Top 10 Cash Rent Averages by County in Corn Belt"…

"Ag Land Values, Cash Rent on the Rise"…

Susan Payne can be reached at

Follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, @jpusan

Susan Payne

Susan Payne
Connect with Susan: