Cash Rents Dip 7% to Average $211 Per Acre

April 22, 2016 09:52 AM
Cash Rents Dip 7% to Average $211 Per Acre

Creighton University released its Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) for April 2016, and the monthly survey of bank CEOs in a 10-state Midwest region showed a downward trend of several things, including cash rents, equipment sales and farmland prices.

The index, which ranges between 0 and 100, settled in at 38.2 for April 2016, down from March’s 40.2.

“This is the eight straight months the overall index has moved below growth neutral,” says Ernie Goss, who chairs Creighton’s Heider College of Business. “Compared to 12 months earlier, prices for farm products are down by 16%, and energy products are 8% lower.”

Bankers participating in the survey reported an average cash rent per acre of $211 in 2016. That’s down 7% from the same time a year ago.

“Cash flow is king and will continue to be the difference-maker for producers,” says Jeffery Gerhart, chairman of Bank of Newman Grove in Nebraska. “Those who manage it well will benefit, [and] those who don’t manage it well will not.”

RMI’s farm equipment sales index rose to 11.1, but that rises from a record-low 6.7 in March. Goss says farm income weaknesses, low commodity prices and reduction in farm prices have negatively affected this sector of agriculture.

Bankers also reported the following as the “biggest economic threats” to their operations in the next five years.

  1. Rising regulatory costs – 43.5%
  2. Slow to negative economic growth – 23.9%
  3. Farm foreclosures – 8.8%
  4. Increasing competition from credit unions and Farm Credit – 8.7%

For more information, including RMI historical data and forecasts, visit

Back to news


Spell Check

Kristin Larson
Moorhead, MN
4/23/2016 01:02 PM

  The regulations for C.R.P. are quite complicated and the costs to keep land in compliance with government regulations are costly. One needs to evaluate the input and output costs for C.R.P. I am an environmentalist and believe in C.R.P but it is not cost effective. Look at the bigger picture before putting land back into C.R.P.

land owner
Luverne, MN
4/24/2016 10:40 AM

  I have several fields in CRP for the last 10 years. Government paid a large share to seed it, and they also paid me for the one clipping required. I spray one time. It doesn't cost hardly anything to put in and maintain CRP.

land owner
Luverne, MN
4/22/2016 11:00 PM

  Now that the cost of production is taking away the land owners rent , Land owners in the USA should put 1 million acres or more into CRP for 10 years to stop them .


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer