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The value of land these days

Photo by Ben Nuelle.

By Ben Nuelle

Farmers constantly look ways to expand their operation. One is through buying land but can they get it for the right price? Stephen Nicholson is an Analyst with Rabo AgriFinance. He said land values have remained stable across the Midwest.

“We get a lot of questions about land values and I think the surprising story is that they are not as soft as some people want to think they are. Just talked to someone from Illinois and they were seeing land values there have stayed fairly stable. In my home state of Iowa, we are seeing fairly stable land prices too. In northwest Iowa, a section sold for over $15,000 an acre,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson said farmers who made a lot of money have kept it.

“They have a lot of liquidity and they have cash and they are going to spend that money to buy that land because they want it for further expansion and that is still out there which will keep land prices from falling out of bed. A lot of people remember the 1980s and think Oh my gosh here we go again but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now,” Nicholson said.

According to the USDA Land Values 2015 Summary, released in August, The United States farm real estate value, averaged $3,020 per acre for 2015, up 2.4 percent from 2014 values.

Regional changes in the average value of farm real estate ranged from a 6.1 percent increase in the Southern Plains region to 0.3 percent decrease in the Corn Belt region. The highest farm real estate values were in the Corn Belt region at $6,350 per acre.

The United States cropland value increased by $30 per acre (0.7 percent) to $4,130 per acre from the previous year. In the Corn Belt region, cropland values decreased by 2.3 percent.

Ty Higgins with the Ohio Ag Network contributed to this report.