Farmland Values Dip Amid Lower Crop Prices

Dan General, Industry News Release

Central California farmland and orchards.
Farmland values have dropped for only the second time since the 1980s farm crisis prompted a wave of foreclosures. The Department of Agriculture last week issued a report that shows farmland values in the lower 48 states declined $10 to average $3,010 per acre. Cropland values declined one percent to average $4,090 per acre, while pastureland was unchanged at $1,330 per acre. Lower farm income over the last few years had not impacted land values until recently. Bloomberg reports the trend in land prices is likely to be similar to the 1980s, when values fell for three years. While the current skid may not match the magnitude of that slump, analysts say the decline is likely to continue. The biggest drop was in Kansas, down 7.4 percent to average $1,880 per-acre. The Corn Belt remained the most expensive region, even as prices fell 0.9 percent to average $6,290 per acre. In February, USDA said declining commodity prices will push farm income down 2.8 percent to $54.8 billion this year, less than half of the 2013 record.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.