For the first time in more than 15 years, average cash rents in Iowa declined.
The average cash rent in Iowa for 2014 slipped $10 to average of $260 an acre. While down 3.7% from 2013, this year’s average cash rent is 3% higher than 2012's state average of $252 and well above 2010's statewide average of $184 an acre, according to Iowa State University’s 2014 Cash Rental Rates Survey.
The data was generated by the annual statewide survey of farmers, landowner, ag lenders and farm managers.
The ISU study supports the thought that lower grain prices would results in a weakening of cash rent prices and land values. "I think the pressure for higher and higher cash rents have ended," says Chris Hurt, Purdue University ag economist.
"With $4.50 corn we were predicting a 15% to 20% decrease in land values in the next three to four years," Hurt says. "The closer you can push that to $5 the less adjustment we’ll see."
Watch an AgDay report on the ISU survey:
Regional Breakdown of Iowa Cash Rents
The west central crop reporting district (district 4) now boasts the highest average cash rent at $288 an acre. That compares to last year's district average of $294 an acre.
Last year' highest-priced district, the central district (district 5), lists a district average of $284 in 2014. That is down $13 an acre from last year's $297 average.
The northwest crop reporting district (district 1) reports a 2014 average of $270, down 4.6% from last year's $283 an acre.
The north-central district (district 2) reports the sharpest annual decline, an 8.2% decrease, with an average of $270 an acre. That is down from 2013's average of $294 an acre.
The northeast crop district (district 3) lists a 2014 average of $277 an acre, down 1.4% from last year's $281.