Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Price of farmland keeps rising; more fear a crash

The price of farmland, specifically in the Corn Belt, Northern Plains and Great Lakes states, keeps going up, and has more people worried that it will crash.

The value of farmland in Nebraska rose 36 percent per acre from 2007 to 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During the same period, values rose 30 percent in North Dakota, 25 percent in Kansas, South Dakota and Minnesota, 24 percent in Iowa, 17 percent in Illinois and Indiana, 14 percent in Missouri and Ohio, 11 percent in Michigan, and 7 percent in Wisconsin. Values also rose 8 percent in New York, 7 percent in North Carolina, 6 percent in Kentucky and 4 percent in West Virginia, but stayed steady, or dropped, in every other state. (Read more)

National Agricultural Statistics Service graph
"In 2010, excellent Illinois farmland was selling for a modest $7,000 per acre instead of the current $13,000 per acre," reports Marcia Zarley Taylor for DTN/The Progressive Farmer. In a poll conducted by DTN, 50 percent of respondents said they think Corn Belt farmland prices are forming a bubble headed for a crash, 39 percent believe a bubble is forming but will have a soft landing, and 9 percent believe farmland values aren't close to a top yet and will continue to rise, Taylor writes.

Mike Duffy, an economist at Iowa State University, told USA Today reporter Christoper Doering that in Iowa, "An acre of farmland that a decade ago sold for an average of $2,275 now goes for $8,700," and last year "an 80-acre parcel near Boyden in Sioux County, some of the most fertile ground in the Corn Belt, sold for a record $21,900 per acre."

Michael Hein of the Liberty Trust and Savings Bank, in the southeast Iowa town of Durant, told Doering, "The concern clearly is not so much how much higher are they going to go, but when this bubble breaks, how low will they go and what will the aftermath of that be?" (Read more)

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