The value of western Corn Belt farmland rose 6% to 16% the first half of 2012, according to the semi-annual appraisal update of benchmark farms conducted by Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica), Omaha, Nebraska. FCSAmerica's appraisal team conducts regular appraisal updates on January 1 and July 1 of 65 benchmark farms within its service area of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The firm found the value of its 21 benchmark farms in Iowa rose 6.2% from January to July; it's 19 Nebraska farms saw a 16.3% rise; it's 23 South Dakota benchmark farms rose 12.9%; and it's 2 Wyoming benchmark farms rose a modest 1.1%.
On an annual basis, the survey shows the value of Iowa farmland rose 21.7%, Nebraska gained 47.3%, South Dakota increased 24.1% and Wyoming farmland rose 1.1%.
FCSAmerica says 20 to the 21 Iowa benchmark farms increased in value during the first half of 2012 while 1 was rated as stable. The increases seen in Iowa ranged from stable to to a high of 16.1%. Five of the 21 benchmark farms had values ranging from $10,975 to $12,900 per acre.
In Nebraska, the survey found its 19 benchmark farms had increases ranging from 3.6% to 73.7%. Eliminating the one benchmark farm with the 73.7% surge narrows the range to 3.6% to 25% with an average increase of 13.1%. "This range is more representative of the market," FCSAmerica says.
Of South Dakota's 23 benchmark farms, 21 saw increases while two remained stable. The benchmark farms had individual value changes from stable to +27.5%.
Wyoming's ranch benchmark rose 2.3% while the irrigated cropland benchmark farm was considered stable.
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