Nebraska Survey Finds Land Values Have Plateaued

Published on: 12:58PM Mar 30, 2009
Mike Walsten

Nebraska land values are unchanged from a year earlier, according to preliminary results of the annual survey conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The survey, supervised by UNL agricultural economist Bruce Johnson, pegged the value of an acre of Nebraska farmland at $1,424 an acre as of February 1, 2009. That figure is unchanged from a year earlier. While the overall figure is unchanged, the path reaching that result was marked by a strong surge in values for the first nine months of the year followed by declines during the final months of the survey, Johnson indicates.

Johnson says dryland cropland and grazing land values declined slightly for the year while the value of irrigated land posted slight gains. He indicates the impacts of recent irrigation moratoriums could be seen in declines in values for dryland cropland with irrigation potential.

Distinct Differences. The survey reported decreases of 3% and 2.5% in the East and Northeast crop districts while the South and Southwest districts recorded overall gains of 8.2% and 6.4%, respectively. The East and Northeast districts experienced some of the strongest percentage gains in recent years, "so the cooling effects of recent months are still very slight," he explains. He points out the South and Southwest districts had experienced much lower run-ups in values over the past several years, largely due to multi-year drought conditions and substantial irrigation water restrictions. "So with better moisture conditions in 2008 and unusually strong commodity prices, these regions have experienced relatively stronger bidding in recent months," he states.

I will cover more details of the survey in the April 14 issue of LandOwner newsletter. If interested in seeing a copy, just drop me an email at [email protected] or call me at 800-772-0023.