A new survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis gives us a reading on farmland values in the southern Corn Belt and Mid-South. This new survey joins the long-running quarterly surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Dallas, San Francisco and Richmond. The survey covers the St. Louis bank district which consists of the lower third of Illinois and Indiana, eastern two-thirds of Missouri, western Kentucky, Arkansas, western third of Tennessee and the northern half of Mississippi.
The survey, conducted from June 15 through June 29 covering 88 agricultural banks, found district farmland values average $4,705 an acre while ranch/pastureland averages $2,349 an acre during the second quarter of 2012. Not surprisingly the highest average land values in the district are in the St. Louis and Louisville zones. The St. Louis zone covers the eastern two-thirds of Missouri and southern Illinois while the Louisville zone covers southern Indiana and the western half of Kentucky, Land values are generally lower on average in the Little Rock and Memphis zones. The Little Rock zone covers the western two-thirds of Arkansas while the Memphis zone covers eastern Arkansas, western third of Tennessee and northern half of Mississippi.
In every district zone, respondents indicate they expecte land prices and rents would remain the same or increase during the third quarter of 2012. Except for those in the Louisville zone, proportionately more respondents foresee increases in quality farmland prices than in ranch or pastureland prices.
In terms of average prices by zone within the district, the survey pegs the average value of quality non-irrigated farmland in the St. Louis zone at $5,835 an acre with average cash rent at $186 an acre. Pastureland averages $2,691 an acre and cash rent $58 an acre. In the Little Rock zone, farmland is placed at $2,878 an acre with a average cash rent of $111 an acre while ranch and pastureland is $1,918 an acre with an average cash rent of $52 an acre. In the Louisville zone, farmland is listed at $4,504 an acre with an average cash rent of $178 an acre while pastureland is placed at $2,464 an acre with an average cash rent of $55 an acre. In the Memphis zone, farmland averages $2,900 an acre with an average cash rent of $123 an acre while pastureland averages $1,717 an acre with an average cash rent of $42 an acre.
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