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 value of good agricultural cropland in the central Corn Belt rose 16% for the year ending March 31, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. That percentage increase is the largest since 2007. Values have not increased more than that since 1979. The Chicago Fed bank serves bankers in northern Illinois, northern Indiana, Iowa, the lower peninsula of Michigan and southeast Wisconsin -- some of the best cropland in the U.S.
The survey also found district land values rose 5% for the quarter versus the fourth quarter of 2010.
Leading the increase was Iowa, which reported a 20% annual return. Indiana followed with a 19% increase. Illinois reported a 17% gain while Michigan listed an 11% rise and Wisconsin reported a 9% increase.
The survey also found cash rents rose 16% for the year ending March 31, as well.
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