Farmland Prices Surge 16%, Near All-Time High

The Des Moines Register reports the average price for an acre of Iowa farmland increased to $5,064, up 16 percent for the year,  according to Iowa State University’s annual survey.  The all-time inflation adjusted high is $5,711 per acre in 1979.   The Register writes,

Land values in Iowa declined by 2 percent in the
2009 survey. But farmland prices have surged in
recent months, along with a 50 percent rise in the
price of corn and a 30 percent increase in the price
of soybeans.

ISU Extension surveys indicate that farmers this fall
can expect profits of as much as $2 per bushel on
corn and $6 per bushel on soybeans.

Cattle and hog profits this year, for the first time
since 2007, played a role in the land price boom,
said Michael Duffy, the ISU Extension economist
who conducts the survey.

He said respondents also mentioned low interest
rates on loans, which have dipped below 6 percent
this year, as a factor fueling more farmland
purchases.

What a contrast to the recession of the early 1980’s when farmers were taking huge hits from the record high interest rates.   The days when extra security had to be installed at the the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington to protect then Fed Chairman Paul Volcker from angry farmers.

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