Corn Belt Land Values Firm Versus Spring; Down Versus Year Ago

Published on: 15:51PM Nov 19, 2009

Mike Walsten

Two surveys by Federal Reserve banks cast a clearer picture of current trends in farmland values. And that picutre is one of a firming in land values versus the second quarter of 2009, but continuing weakness when compared to values of a year earlier when land values peaked during the third quarter. That's according to the just-released surveys from the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and Minneapolis.

The Chicago bank's survey found values fell 4% during the the third quarter compared to a year earlier. This marks the third quarter in a row the survey has found the value of farmland to be lower versus the comparable period of a year earlier. However, the survey also indicated values rose 2% when compared to the previous quarter. The Chicago bank serves the northern two-thirds of Illinois, northern two-thirds Indiana, all of Iowa, the Lower Pennisula of Michigan and southeastern Wisconsin.

On an annual basis, the value of land in Illinois is down 4%; down 2% in Indiana, down 7% in Iowa, unchanged in Michigan and down 3% in Wisconsin. The value of land in Illinois is up 2% compared to the previous quarter, down 1% in Indiana, up 4% in Iowa, up 1% in Michigan and down 1% in Wisconsin. More of the survey respondents expect farmland values will slide than gain during the fourth quarter of 2009. However, 69% of those surveyed expect land values to remain stable during the fourth quarter -- 29% expect land values to decline while only 4% anticipate land values will increase.

Please click here for the full report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis reports farmland values and cash rents decreased slightly during the third quarter of 2009 when compared to a year earlier. The Minneapolis bank serves bankers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Pennisula of Michigan.

The survey found the value of non-irrigated farmland declined 6% in the third quarter compared to a year earlier; irrigated farmland rose 5% and ranchland dropped by 7%. It said average cash rents for non-irrigated farmland slipped 3% while cash rents for irrigated farmland dipped 1% and rents for ranchland declined 4%.

Please click here for the full report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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