Fed Bank Surveys Show Weakness in Farmland Values

Published on: 19:27PM Aug 13, 2015

Lower farmland values through the first half of 2015 are reflected in reports from three Midwestern Federal Reserve Banks.

The Federal Reserve bank of Chicago shows the value of "good" agricultural farmland slipped 1% during the second quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter. In addition, it shows values are down 3% from a year earlier. The bank's most recent survey reflects data from ag bankers in the northern two-thirds of Illinois, northern two-thirds of Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. Iowa indicated farmland values are down 7% on an annual basis while Illinois farmland is down 6%. Wisconsin also reflects a decline of 2%. Meanwhile, Indiana reports a rise of 4% compared to a year earlier and Michigan lists a rise of 6%.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says the value of dryland cropland is down nearly 3% from a year earlier while the value of irrigated cropland is down 3.6%. The value of ranchland, however, is up nearly 9%. Missouri reports a decline of 5.5% in the value of cropland but a rise of 4.6% in the value of pasture. Nebraska lists a decline of nearly 5% in the value of dryland cropland and a drop of nearly 6% for irrigated cropland. Ranchland is listed at nearly 12% higher. Kansas lists a decline of slightly more than 1% in the value of dryland cropland and a decline of 1.5% in the value of irrigated cropland. Kansas ranchland is listed at an 8.4% increase. Oklahoma lists slightly more than a 4% increase in the value of dryland cropland but a decline of 1.2% in the value of irrigated cropland. Oklahoma ranchland, however, recorded a 10% gain. The mountain states of Colorado, northern New Mexico and Wyoming sport gains of about 3% in dryland and irrigated cropland values and nearly a 12% rise in the value of ranchland.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which serves the southern Corn Belt and Mid-South, reports farmland values within its district are relatively unchanged from a year earlier. "However," the bank states, "a majority of bankers expect farmland values to decline in the third quarter." The value of district ranch and pasture land is up about 3% versus a year earlier. The bank also notes: "Banker responses illustrate a notable decline in cash rents -- the largest recorded over the short history of the survey -- in the second quarter of 2015." The bank says cropland cash rents fell 6.4% in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.

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