Ames,Iowa — A new survey by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach shows a slight increase in the average farmland value after three straight years of declines.
Northwest Iowa Extension Farm Management Specialist Gary Wright says the report is important not only to farmers but the whole economy.
He says the good news is that land prices may have bottomed out and are now on the rebound.
Wright says says a limited supply of available farmland is the main reason for the two percent increase in land values as the farm economy remains sluggish.
The average statewide value of an acre of farmland is estimated at seven-thousand-326 dollars ($7,326), or 143 dollars more for an acre compared to last year. Commodity prices remain low and experts say a full recovery of the ag economy will take some time.
Scott and Decatur counties reported the highest and lowest farmland values for the fifth straight year. Decatur County reported land valued at $3,480 per acre — while Scott County reported a value of $10,497. O’Brien County was next with a value of $10,354 per acre, followed by Sioux County with $10,202. Lyon County land was valued at $9,400 and Osceola land was valued at $9,069 per acre. Only eight counties reported values over $9,000 per acre, and seven of them are in northwest Iowa. Besides the four northwesternmost counties, others with land values over $9,000 were Plymouth, Buena Vista, and Sac counties. Wright tells us why northwest Iowa land is so valued.
Just four of Iowa’s 99 counties –Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, and Page –reported a drop in land values this year. Each of those counties reported a decline in value of three-tenths of a percent.