Farmland Values Are Stabilizing, But Sales Are Down

We have now made it through the first half of 2017, and Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) has announced that farmland values in the Grain Belt states have remained steady during that time period. However, sales activity across the five states, Iowa Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, were reported down 21 percent compared to the same time period in 2016. “It appears that the pace of decline in land values that we have seen during the past two years is slowing even though pressure on profit margins continues for grain producers,” says Mark Jensen, senior vice president and chief risk officer for FCSAmerica and Frontier Farm Credit. In Iowa the benchmark farm values revealed that cropland prices increased marginally in the second quarter of this year are now in line with those reported in 2015, but still remain about 19 percent below the record prices seen in 2013. The average price of unimproved farmland was more than $8,100 per acre, with 21 percent of all sales in the second quarter reported at a price of over $10,000. This is an increase of 11 percent over 2016.