The value of Iowa farmland rose 2.8% during the six-month period ending March 1, according to the twice-a-year survey conducted by the Iowa chapter of the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI). That rise was gleaned from the more than 180 responses from it's chapter members who took part in the survey who were asked to estimate the value of bare, unimproved cropland. Pasture and timberland was also surveyed and the survey found these values were down 4.5% and 4% respectively. The pasture and timberland figures were not included in the overall figure for farmland.
Combining the survey's 2.8% increase with the 1.9% decrease in values reported in the RLI's September survey indicates a statewide average increase of 0.9% for the year ending March 1, 2010, says Troy Louwagie, ALC, Hertz Farm Management, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, who heads up the survey team for the RLI.
All nine of Iowa's crop reporting districts showed an increase. The districts varied from a 4.4% gain in central Iowa to a 0.8% rise in the northeast crop district for the September-March period, he said.
Factors contributing to the increase in farmland values include: limited amount of land offered for sale, lack of attractive alternative investments, favorable long term interest rates, lower crop input costs and strong cash rents. Concerns that could affect farmland values in the future include: lower commodity prices, recent losses in the livestock industry, uncertainty of future government programs and continued uncertainty in the U.S. and world economy.
The Iowa RLI has conducted the farmland survey since 1978.
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