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 twice-yearly survey of farm real estate professionals finds Iowa farmland values edged slightly higher in the six-month period ending March 1. The survey, conducted by the Iowa Chapter of REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI), found on average tillable crop rose 0.9% from September 2016 to March 2017 period. Combining this increase with the 3.7% decrease reported in September 2016 indicates a statewide average decrease of 2.8% for the year from March 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017.
The nine Iowa crop reporting districts showed a mix of increases and decreases in value. The districts varied from a 3.2% increase in the northwest district to a 3.0% decrease in southwest district since September 2016.
Survey Chair Kyle Hansen, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services, Nevada, Iowa, says "Iowa farmland values appear to be taking a breather in order to identify future direction." He noted the combination of strong yields last harvest and a limited amount of land available for sale have tended to support prices. But low commodity prices remain a continuing negative on demand.
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