For 2018, the national average for cash rents on cropland is $138 per acre, which is 1.5% higher than 2017 prices. The national average for irrigated cropland is $215 per acre, which is $3 per acre higher than 2017. Pastureland rent is flat, averaging $12.50 per acre.
California tops the list for the highest cropland cash rent and is the only state with prices more than $300 per acre. Arizona, Iowa, Illinois and Washington round out the top five list with cash rent rates ranging between $203 and $253 per acre.
Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and South Carolina have the lowest state-average cash rents—all less than $50 per acre.
While a handful of states reported 5% or higher year-over-year gains in cropland rents, Maryland showed the highest percentage increase at 10%, which amounts to $10 per acre. Cash rent in West Virginia increased by 7%, though the rate only increased $3 per acre. In terms of the dollar change from 2017, California hit the top mark with rates jumping by $15 per acre.
Four states—Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida—saw a drop in state-average cash rents.
Cash rent rates have been on a steady increase the past two decades. The average for cropland cash rent peaked in 2015 at $144 per acre.
Are you currently negotiating 2019 cash rent rates? If so, check out the resources at bit.ly/2018-cash-rent