Iowa Farmland Surges 24% Versus Year Ago

Published on: 10:32AM Dec 14, 2012

Mike Walsten

Iowa farmland reached a record $8,296 an acre as of November 1, a rise of $1,588 an acre, or 23.7%, from 2011, according to the annual Iowa State University (ISU) Land Value Survey. This marks the third year in a row values have increased by more than 15%, says Dr. Mike Duffy, leader of the survey. For perspective, Iowa land values rose at a rate exceeding 30% a year for the consecutive years of 1973, 1974 and 1975. A 25% annual increase then followed in 1976.
The percentage increase is stronger than the 18% rise (October 2011 to September 2012 basis) reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The stronger percentage gain reported by the ISU survey reflects the powerful demand that swept across Iowa this fall.

Highest County: O’Brien with an estimated $12,862 average value. It also had the strongest percentage increase and highest dollar increase in values at 35.2% and $3,348, respectively. Surprisingly, nearby Osceola, Dickinson and Lyon counties also saw 35.2% increases each.
Decatur County has the lowest average value of $3,242 an acre and the lowest dollar increase of $521. The lowest percentage increase was 14.8% in Keokuk and Washington counties.
As you’d expect, the northwest crop district, which includes O’Brien, Osceola, Dickinson and Lyon counties, has the highest average land value at $11,404 per acre. The lowest land values are reported in the south-central crop district at $4,308 an acre. The smallest percentage increase was reported in the southeast crop district — an 8.2% rise.

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