Farmland Sales Remain Low Despite More Investors

The annual Iowa State University survey finds more farmland sales in the last two to three years compared to five or six years ago. But survey manager, Wendong Zhang, says the farmland turnover rate is still very low and the buyer profile has only changed slightly.

He says the increase hasn’t been that pronounced.

Zhang says the area with the highest land values has the most local buys.

Zhang says this is due in part to the large number of cattle owners in the area that need farmland to spread the manure on from their operations. He says that the desire to expand operations pushed up land in O’Brien County, which edged out Sioux County by $15 for the most expensive farmland acres. Both topped long-running value champ Scott County.

O’Brien County averaged $15,931 an acre to Scott County’s $15,968. He says a majority of the farmland on the auction block is coming from estate sales or retired farmers.

Zhang says other states like Illinois probably attract more of the investor interest because they have fewer restrictions on corporate land ownership than Iowa.


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