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Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 40 years.
Irrigated cropland rose almost 6% from a year ago and 2% from the prior quarter as of March 31, 2010, says the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The quarterly survey found the increase was most dramatic in North Dakota, which said irrigated cropland jumped 28% from a year earlier. The bank survey found non-irrigated cropland rose 5.3% compared to a year earlier. However, the survey found non-irrigated cropland decreased 3.2% in northwest Wisconsin and 1.8% in Montana. The survey indicated average cash rents on cropland rose across the Fed bank's district, which includes Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The bank says cash rents on ranchland fell 6.4% from the previous quarter and 4.5% from last year.
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