Officials See a Rise in Farm Land Prices

The annual Iowa State University survey shows the statewide value of an acre of farmland increased by two-point-three percent and now is estimated at $7,432. Wendong Zhang conducts the survey and doesn’t think it’s a sign of any big upward trend.

That increase means an acre of farm ground is worth $168 more than the year before. He says low commodity prices and low interest rates both helped keep the values from going up much more.  Zhang, who is an assistant professor of economics, doesn’t think values are dropping off either.

Zhang says low dairy prices hurt the land values in the northeast district.  The northwest district reported the highest overall land values at $9,352 an acre. The south-central district reported the lowest overall land values at $4,487 an acre. Scott County reported the highest land values at $10,837 dollars an acre. Decatur County reported the lowest at $3,586 dollars an acre. It’s the seventh straight year Scott and Decatur have been the top and bottom county. Low-quality land statewide now saw an increase of 3.3% more than the higher quality soils.

Zhang says there are two things he is watching that could impact the land values in the coming year.

Zhang says the rate cut would be more positive news for landowners.

The ISU Land Value Survey started in 1941. Zhang has been overseeing the survey for the last five years.

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