The average value of farm and ranch land in South Dakota has dropped for the first time in at least a quarter century.
A new report from South Dakota State University says the average per-acre value of land dropped 2.4 percent after averaging a 10 percent increase annually since at least 1991, when the university began its survey of experts across the state.
Land are divided into two categories, non-irrigated and irrigated.
Non-irrigated, or dryland, makes-up 99 percent of the acres used for crops and livestock pasture and hay, and one percent of the land is made up of irrigated, or wetlands.
The land's worth reflects the sharp declines in crop and beef cattle prices, the Capital Journal reported.
Federal officials anticipate net farm income will drop again this year nationwide.
Ranchers and other livestock market experts said prices for calves coming off pasture in the fall are down at least 40 percent from two years ago.
According to farmers, prices for corn, soybeans and wheat are down at least 30 percent from historic highs seen three and four years ago.
Usually the prices for livestock and crops counter each other. However, in the past five years prices for both have risen and dropped together.
Since the lower prices have thinned or erased profits for some, many farmers will have to re-negotiate their land rent prices with their landlords.
The South Dakota State University faculty and extension staff employees will meet with agricultural lenders this week to discuss the decline of livestock and crop prices.
This version corrects 'agricultural leaders' to 'agricultural lenders' in last paragraph.
Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, http://www.capjournal.com