Corn Belt Farmland Posts 4% Annual Gain

Published on: 10:50AM May 21, 2010

Mike Walsten

The value of "good" agricultural farmland rose 4% for the year ending April 1, states the regular quarterly survey of agricultural bankers conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Fed bank serves the northern two-thirds of Illinois and Indiana, all of Iowa, the Lower Pennisula of Michigan and southeastern Wisconsin. The survey also found cash rental rates rose 1%, down dramatically from 2009.

Survey respondents said demand to purchase farmland during the first quarter of 2010 strengthened from a year ago, driven primarily by demand from farmers. The survey also found the amount of farmland for sale and the number of farms sold declined in the first three months of 2010 relative to the same period in 2009. The vast majority of the bankers responding to the survey anticipate stable land values during the second quarter of 2010, the Fed bank said.

The survey reported the following annual gains by state: Illinois, 4%; Indiana, 7%; and Iowa, 8%. Wisconsin recorded a 1% decline in values on an annual basis, but indicated values rose 2% during the first quarter of 2010.

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