What's Behind that Puzzling 5% Decline in Minnesota Farmland Values?

Published on: 15:55PM May 02, 2012

Mike Walsten

The median value of Minnesota farmland fell 4.9% to $3,443 an acre in 2011, according to an analysis of agricultural sales transactions reported to the state's Department of Revenue conducted by University of Minnesota ag economist Steven Taff. The figure calculated represents the median value of actual land sold. But the number of sales of high priced southern Minnesota farmland fell sharply in 2011, which resulted in depressing the state median price. For example, only 87 transactions were reported in the south west region for 2011, down from 266 transactions in 2010 and the lowest since 1990 when 408 transactions will be reported. In the south central region, 155 transactions were reported in 2011, down from 294 in 2010 and the lowest since 1990's 412. Same for the south east region which reported only 127 transactions in 2011, down from 198 in 2010 and 429 in 1990. For the state as a whole, only 1,115 acres were reported, down from 1,882 reported in 2010 and the lowest since 1990's 3,158.

In my mind, the news in this report is the confirmation of the sharp decline in the number of high-producing Minnesota corn/soybean farms offered for sale in 2011.

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