ISU Survey Shows Farmland Prices Drop Again

Date posted - December 14, 2016

land-valuesNorthwest Iowa — The downturn in the agriculture economy continues to impact the state with the latest evidence another drop in the price of farmland in the annual Iowa State University Extension survey.  Despite falling prices statewide, the survey shows O’Brien, Sioux, Lyon and Plymouth counties as having some of the most valuable farmland in the state.

Wendong Zhang conducts the survey.

The average price of an acre of farmland fell to $7,183. The three years of falling prices come after the peak in 2013 when it took $8,713 to buy an acre of land. Zhang says one key factor is driving the downward trend.

He says none of the 99 counties were exempt from the drop.

Zhang says the drop in farmland prices will likely slow, but won’t end immediately.

But he says it could take three years for the whole state to turn things back around. The three-year drop in value causes some to think history might be repeating itself.

He says landowners saw some very good earning years between 2003 and 2013 to help their bottom line, which puts them in a better position to handle the latest declines. And he says greater lending restrictions have also kept landowners from getting in over their heads.

The most expensive farmland was in eastern Iowa’s Scott County at $10,335 an acre. Two counties in northwest Iowa were right behind, with O’Brien County at $10,194 and Sioux County at $10,066 an acre. The least expensive farmland was in Decatur County in south-central Iowa at $3,443.

To learn more about the survey, and land values in counties around the state, visit http://www.card.iastate.edu/land-value/overview/

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