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7 Fast Facts About Iowa Farmland

09:00AM Jun 29, 2018

The changing characteristics of farmland ownership and leases can create opportunities for farmers looking to expand their operations. Iowa State University just released the 2017 Iowa Farmland Ownership and Tenure Survey.

Wendong Zhang and Alejandro Plastina, both assistant professors of economics at ISU presented the findings, as well as historical perspectives. 

Here are seven facts to consider and trends to watch.

1. 82% of Iowa farmland is owned debt-free.

Iowa Farmland: Method of finance

2. Of the 30 million acres of farmland in Iowa, 47% is owner controlled and 53% is leased.

Iowa Farmland: Lease vs. Owned

3. More than half of all land in Iowa has been owned by the same owner for over 20 years, and 20% has been owned by the same owner for over 40 years.

Iowa Farmland: Years owned

4. Cash rental agreements comprise more than 80% of all Iowa farmland leases.

Iowa Farmland Lease by Type

5. Leasing relationships on 60% of Iowa farmland have been in place for less than 10 years, while the remaining 40% include leasing relationships that have been in place for over a decade. 

Iowa - Leasing Relationship Length

6. In 1982, only 1% of Iowa farmland was owned in trust. In 2017, 20% is owned in a trust.

Iowa Farmland - Ownership Type

7. Around 35% of Iowa farmland is owned by owners with no farming experience, while 23% of land is owned by retired farmers.

Iowa Farmland - Ownership Status

The Iowa Farmland Ownership and Tenure Survey compiled by Iowa State University is the first and only consistent data collection of land ownership and tenure in the nation. The 2017 survey included responses from 535 farmland owners.