The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 40 years.
The average cash rent for Iowa cropland declined 6.5% this year, according to the annual survey conducted by Iowa State University. The survey of actual cash rents, conducted in late-April, found the state average rent declined $16 to an average of $230 an acre. That average is down $40, or 15%, from the high posted in 2013 of $270 an acre.
On a crop-district basis, the northeast district reports the highest average cash rent at $250 an acre. It also reports the highest average district cash rent for top-quality cropland of $297 an acre. The lowest cash rent is reported in the south central district, as usual, with a 2016 average of $183 an acre. Cash rent for top-quality cropland in that district is listed at $219 an acre, also the lowest on a district-wide basis for the state.
Dubuque County reports this highest average cash rent for any county at $294 an acre. High-quality cropland in that county averages $374 an acre. Wayne County lists the lowest average county-wide cash rent at $150 an acre.
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