Iowa Farmland Values Jump 30 Percent

Statewide Iowa — Iowa State University Extension’s annual farmland survey released Tuesday shows a surge in the estimated value of farmland that hasn’t been seen in a decade.

Wendong Zhang oversees the survey and spoke about the results.

Zhang is an associate professor of economics at ISU, and says the average price is a first in some 80 years of surveys.

Zhang says the nominal value is higher than the 2013 land value peak — but when adjusted for inflation — it would be an increase of 21 percent. He says the values took off after a few drops and steady numbers the last few years.

The top-quality farmland increased 30 percent, the middle went up 27 percent and the low quality increased by 26 percent. He says the price of corn and soybeans was a big driver in the prices.

Zhang says competitive bidding for land in the central part of the state and the northern area helped drive up prices. He says the northern area land is desired for livestock production. Zhang says this year’s harvest also helped the values.

He says federal pandemic payments factored into the mix as well.

All counties saw an increase — and for the ninth consecutive year — Scott and Decatur Counties reported the highest and lowest land values. Scott County saw a 30 percent increase to 13-thousand-852 dollars an acre. Decatur County increased 31-point-five percent five-thousand-62 dollars and acre. Clayton and Allamakee Counties reported the largest percentage increase, 36-point-four percent. The smallest percentage increase was 23-point-two percent in Keokuk County.


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