Lender Sees 1% Decline in Iowa Farmland Values in 2009

Published on: 10:21AM Feb 05, 2010

Mike Walsten

Iowa farmland values slipped 1% in 2009, according to Jim Knuth, senior vice president, Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica), Omaha, which serves 74,000 agricultural producers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. FCSAmerica is the largest real estate lender in Iowa.

Using its own staff of appraisers, the lender monitors the value of 67 benchmark farms located in its service area every six months. In addition, it has analyzed more than 33,000 real estate sales in the past five years. That includes 13,750 sales in Iowa alone, Knuth says. In addition, he notes, FCSAmerica handled more than $1.8 billion in real estate transactions in 2009.

According to the lender's most recent update, Knuth says farm real estate values rose 2.3% the last half of 2009 but finished the year down 1%. That figure is very similar to the 2% decline found by the annual Iowa land values survey conducted by Iowa State University (ISU). ISU monitors land values on a November-to-November basis. The FCSAmerica appraisal is based on a Dec. 31 basis.

Meanwhile, the update indicates land values rose 7.5% in Nebraska and 3.3% in South Dakota by year-end. However, land values finished down 5.4% in Wyoming, where weakness in the recreational market is more pronounced.

Click here for the full story, which appeared in the Jan. 27 LandOwner newsletter.

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