The price of cropland in the western Corn Belt weakened in the first half of 2015, according to a mid-year appraisal update by Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica). Every Jan. 1 and July 1, FCSAmerica updates values on 64 benchmark farms across its service area of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
The review indicates the value of Iowa farmland decreased 4.6% from January to July and fell 10.5% on an annual basis. A decrease in the value of cropland because of plunging row-crop margins is the main driver behind the decline. The update shows Iowa cropland values declined 4.6% in the first half of 2015. However, the value of Iowa pastureland increased 3.6% amid rising cattle prices and improved pasture conditions.
Nebraska farmland values reflect a similar divergence. The update indicates Nebraska cropland values dipped 3.8% in the first half of 2015, while the value of pastureland rose 3.3%. Nebraska farmland values as a whole are down 2.8% for the first half of 2015 and down 4.4% on an annual basis.
In South Dakota, overall farmland value rose less than 1% in the first half of 2015 and 3% annually. Cropland values are down 1.1% the first half of 2015; pasture and rangeland values are up 4.3%.
Joining FCSAmerica with an appraisal update of Kansas benchmark farms is Frontier Farm Credit of Manhattan, Kan. The firm’s review found Kansas farmland values rose about 3%, with cropland values up about 2% and ranchland up more than 4% for the first half of 2015.