Farmland Values Rise Across Central Corn Belt

Published on: 11:45AM Feb 25, 2010

Mike Walsten

The value of "good" agricultural land rose 2% the fourth quarter of 2009 across the central Corn Belt and lifted values a similar 2% on an annual basis. That's according to the most recent survey of ag credit conditions conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Fed bank serves the northern two-thirds of both Illinois and Indiana, all of Iowa, the lower peninsula of Michigan and the southeastern half of Wisconsin.

According to the survey, cropland finished 2009 2% higher in Illinois, up a strong 7% in Indiana and up 4% in Iowa when compared to a year earlier. However, economic woes continue in Michigan and Wisconsin which reported declines of 6% and 1% on an annual basis, respectively.

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The corresponding survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis indicates farmland values firmed in that region as well, but weakness is still evident in ranchland/pasture values and in Wisconsin. That bank serves Minnesota, Montana, the Dakotas, northwestern Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan. The survey found the value of dryland cropland rose a slim 0.2% on an annual basis while irrigated cropland gained 2%. Ranchland, however, fell 4.5%.

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