For the third year in a row, South Dakota cropland values have declined. For the year ending in February, the state’s cropland values fell 4.7%, according to South Dakota State University’s Farm Real Estate Market Survey. Cropland values peaked in 2014, and this year marks only the third decrease in the 27-year history of the survey.
The survey pegs the weighted average of state nonirrigated cropland at $3,903 per acre, down $191 from 2016. Nonirrigated cropland values are down $575 per acre, nearly 13%, from their peak in 2014. That three-year decline is on the light side of declines seen from the value peaks in Iowa and Nebraska.
The survey places the average value of South Dakota pasture/rangeland at $1,215 per acre, down $7 or 0.6% from a year earlier.
Although down, 2017’s average cash rent is the second highest in the history of the survey. Cash rental rates declined 3.5% to a statewide average of $136 per acre—down 9% from the 2014 high. Clay, Lincoln, Turner and Union counties averaged the highest average cash rental rates for cropland at $227 per acre, down 2.6% from 2016 and down 7.3% from the 2014 high. Conversely, the northwest region averaged the lowest cropland cash rent of $41 per acre, down $2 per acre from 2016.
Some 44% of respondents said estate settlement was the prime reason for land sales, down from 57% in 2016. But 32% indicated land was sold to increase liquidity and reduce financial stress, which is up from 10% in 2016.
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