A mainstay in evaluating Iowa farmland is undergoing a makeover, which has resulted in many questions and confusion on the part of landowners, real estate pros and county tax assessors. The item in question is the Corn Suitability Index or CSR which rates Iowa soils from 5 to 100. The system was originally developed in 1971 as a tool in tax assessment for real estate tax purposes and is used throughout the state by county tax assessors. Tinkering with such a widely used and long-held standard is precarious.
But that is what has happened as improved technology in rating soils has become available along with improvements in the corn-growing climate in north-central and northwest Iowa. As a result, a new index has been developed by Iowa State to replace CSR. It is called CSR2.
We've written about the coming shift to CSR2 in previous issues of LandOwner over the past few years. And portions of the state got a preview of the new CSR2 last year as it was unveiled in portions of the state. But the full roll-out has been held off until now. So hence the statewide focus on CSR2.
Jim Jensen, an extension farm management field specialist with Iowa State University, has written an excellent explanation on the CSR2. You can read his piece by clicking here.
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