ISU Survey: Farmland Prices Fall Slightly

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The new Iowa State University Land Value Survey was released this week, and it shows a small drop in land values.

Iowa State University economist Wendong Zhang says values dropped just under one percent (.08%).

That’s $62 an acre less than last year’s survey. Zhang says farmland prices peaked in 2013 at just above $87-hundred an acre ($8.716).

Zhang says he has been asked repeatedly in the last five years if there is a concern about another collapse in values like we saw in the 1980’s. He says he is not concerned.

Zhang says there has been a drop in farm income that’s led to the drop in land values brought on in part by big crops.

He says the cost of money is another issue driving land prices.

He says the trade wars have also played some role.

He says he expects land values to see another small dip next year — as he says new tariffs and other factors take some time before they are felt in land values.

Zhang says a trade deal with China could have some impact. 

He says that bump eventually went back down, but he says it shows the impact potential that is there. Scott and Decatur counties held onto the highest and lowest farmland value spots for the sixth straight year. Decatur County had a value of three-thousand-488 dollars ($3,488) an acre. That’s an increase of eight dollars. Scott County reported a value of ten-thousand-537 ($10,537) dollars, which was an increase of 40 dollars an acre. The south-central district reported the largest percentage increase of three-point-eight (3.8) percent. The central and southeast districts reported decreases of two-point-four (2.4) percent and three-point-six (3.6) percent, respectively. The northeast and southwest districts reported no notable change in value.

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