Farmland Values Drop Nearly 9% in Recent Survey

Land2014_map1Iowa farmland values saw their biggest drop in almost three decades in the latest survey released by Iowa State University Thursday. The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development is taking over the survey duties from retired economics professor Mike Duffy. But Duffy helped crunch the numbers this year.


The drop means an average value of acre of farmland in the state fell 779-dollars to seven-thousand-943 dollars. The image above shows the 2014 farmland values (top number) and 2013 farmland values (bottom number). Duffy says it’s not surprising the value would drop given the drop in commodity prices and the impact seen in other areas of the economy.


It is only the second year since 1999 that the survey has shown a decline in farmland values. The drop has some people asking if land prices will continue on the way down after hitting a peak in 2013, just like they peaked and dropped in the 1980’s. Duffy doesn’t see that comparison.


Even with the decrease, he says farmland values are more than double what they were 10 years ago, 81 percent higher than 2009 values, and 18 percent higher than 2011 values.


He believes the values have settled in to adjust to the economic situation.


Delaware County’s farmland is valued at $8,999 per acre, lower than last year’s value of $9,805. For the second year in a row, Scott County in eastern Iowa had the highest land values and Decatur County in south-central Iowa reported the lowest farmland values. Decatur County reported a value per acre of $3,587 or a drop of 41 dollars an acre from last year’s report. While Scott County reported a value of $11,618 or a decline of about 795 dollars and acre, which was about 22 dollars more per acre than the statewide average. Southeast Iowa was the only crop reporting district in the state to show an overall increase in values.


He also says increased livestock values caused more of a demand for pasture land in the southeast. Southeast Iowa reported land values were three-point-two percent (3.2) higher than last year. Keokuk County, located in that southeastern portion of the state, reported the largest percentage increase for any single county at two-point-four (2.4) percent. (Story courtesy of Radio Iowa)