An annual survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension shows rental rates for Iowa farmland have increased for the first time in five years. ISU Extension economist Ann Johanns says cash rents seem to be following land values instead of expected farm profitability.
A little more than half of the farmland in Iowa is rented. This year, the average statewide rental rate is $222 per acre, an increase of just 1.4% over last year. Winnebago, Kossuth, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, and Worth County increased from $218 to $225. Floyd, Franklin, Humboldt, Wright, and Butler counties also saw the same increase in the survey.
The survey shows the highest average cash rent in Grundy County at $290 per acre. The lowest rental rate is in Clarke County at $126.
Average rental rates increased in all regions of Iowa except the south-central and southeast regions. Statewide, Iowa farmland rental rates peaked in 2013 at $270 per acre. Since then, they’ve dropped by just under 18%. The survey notes, over the same time period, corn and soybean prices received by Iowa farmers declined by 52% and 37%, respectively.