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Dairy State ag land values



With strong corn and soybean prices pushing demand for land, 2012 ag land values increased the most in major crop-producing regions. For major dairy states, proximity to corn/soy states again felt the biggest impact, but Southeast states saw land values decline.


By Dave Natzke


The proximity and ability to produce corn and soybeans was again the major factor driving U.S. farm real estate and cropland values last year, based on USDA’s annual Land Values report, released in August 2012. Among the nation’s 23 major dairy states, ag land values generally followed that trend, as well (see Table).


U.S. farm real estate values, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $2,650/acre for 2012, up 10.9% from revised 2011 values. 

Regional changes in the average value of farm real estate ranged from a 26.7% increase in the Northern Plains to a 4.1% decline in the Southeast. The highest farm real estate values were in the Corn Belt, at $5,560/acre. The Mountain region had the lowest farm real estate value, at $974/acre.

Among major dairy states, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota saw farm real estate values jump between 17.0%-22.8% from a year earlier. Only Florida and Virginia reported declines.


Cropland values

U.S. cropland (irrigated and nonirrigated, combined) increased by $450/acre (14.5%) to $3,550/acre. The average cropland value increased 31.1% and 18.5% in the Northern Plains and Corn Belt regions, respectively. However, in the Southeast region, cropland values decreased by 3.8%.

Like farm real estate values, leading gainers among major dairy states were Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota, up 17%-25%.


Pasture values

U.S. pasture values posted smaller gains, increasing to $1,150/acre, up 4.5% from 2011. The Southeast region had the largest percentage decrease in pasture value, dropping 7.0% from 2011. The Northern Plains had the highest increase, at 21.9%.

Among major dairy states, Kansas, Iowa, New Mexico and Illinois posted the largest gains, with 10 dairy states reporting steady to lower pasture land values.

The estimates of land values in the report are based primarily on June 2012 surveys, including a stratified sample of 11,085 land areas, averaging approximately one square mile in size.









For the full USDA report on U.S. farmland values, visit  http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/AgriLandVa/AgriLandVa-08-03-2012.pdf.

• For quarterly updates on agricultural credit conditions and farmland values in specific Federal Reserve bank districts, visit: www.minneapolisfed.org/Research/data/district/usstates.cfm.