You'll find an extensive amount of cash rent and land values data in USDA's annual report released earlier this month. The report attempts to strike a picture of the state of land values and rents as of January 1 of each year. Yes, this is August and values have changed since the start of the year. But the report still serves as a key reference point.
The report lists average values for farmland, which includes the value of buildings and improvements on the land, cropland and pasture for most of the states. Alaska and Hawaii are not included. It also does the same for cash rents, including dryland and irrigated cash rents where appropriate. But again, keep in mind the figures represent state averages, adjust to your farm accordingly.
One way to use the report is to use the percentage changes cited in the report. For instance, USDA indicates the value of cropland rose by 10.4% nationally in 2007 to $2,970 per acre. However, the value of cropland in the Pacific region rose 2.8% while it jumped by 18.8% in the Northern Plains. The value of all farmland increased 8.8% nationally to $2,350 an acre. It rose 1.6% in the Northeast region and 15.5% in the Northern Plains. Pasture increased 6% to $1,230 per acre nationally ranging from a decline of 1.5% in the Southeast to a gain of 19.7% in the Northern Plains.
You can access the full report by going to: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1446
I also carry much of the details of this report in my LandOwner Newsletter. If you'd like to see a sample copy of the newsletter, just send me an email or call 800-772-0023. I'd be happy to email a copy to you. Better yet, subscribe and save $20 off the annual subscription price of $119. Just call 800-772-0023 and mention you saw the offer in this column.
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