Farmland values in the Mid-South rose 5.2% from a year earlier, according to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The bank serves the St. Louis to Louisville to Memphis to Little Rock area. In just its second survey of district ag bankers, the Fed bank found the average value of quality farmland within the district averages $4,886 an acre while an acre of ranchland average $2,345. In addition, a majority of survey respondents said they expected farmland values would rise during the fourth quarter of 2012. On a sub-regional basis, the bank pegs the average value of quality farmland in its St. Louis sub-region at $6,003 an acre, at $2,807 an acre in its Little Rock, Ark., sub-region, at $4,138 an acre in its Louisville sub-region and $3,082 an acre in its Memphis sub-region.
The survey found district farm income and capital spending were down significantly in the third quarter relative to a year-ago due to the drought. But there was some disparity across the district, the bank says.. The St Louis sub-region showed the largest drop off from a year ago, while bankers in the Little Rock and Louisville sub-regions also reported a decline. By contrast, bankers in the Memphis sub-region reported both higher income and capital spending relative to a year ago. These sub-region differences mirror crop production patterns as the drought sharply reduced crop output in the St. Louis sub-region while crop yields were positive in the Memphis region.
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