Land professionals at this year's Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference sponsored by Iowa State University (ISU) project an average acre of Iowa cropland will be $6,721 per acre by the end of the year. For perspective, the annual ISU farmland survey pegged the average value of an acre of Iowa farmland at $5,064 an acre as of November 1, 2010. Therefore, that $6,721 price, if achieved, would represent a 33% jump in value. The ISU survey has not seen an annual increase that great since the mid-1970s when values rose by 30% or more three consecutive years -- 1973, 1974 and 1975.
Attendees as the conference (usually held in May) are routinely asked their price projections for land values by year end. Last year's attendee projection was within 3% of the final ISU survey figure.
In addition, attendees were asked their price projection for the end of 2012. The group turned in an average of $7,079 per acre. If achieved that would amount to a 5% gain, which signals the pros expect the currently red-hot market will cool in 2012.
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