The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its 2019 Land Values Survey that showed land values nationwide are on the rise. However, the American Farm Bureau Federation says that’s not entirely the case. Farm Bureau notes in its own Market Intel analysis that land values and farm rents have gone in the opposite direction in certain parts of the country. “Many of the areas with declining agricultural land values and cash rents over the past half-decade are found in the Midwest, where a prolonged downturn in crop and livestock prices has reduced net cash income,” says Farm Bureau’s Chief Economist John Newton. Around the rest of the country, Newton says agricultural land values were the highest in states near urban areas, such as Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California.
The USDA report says the U.S. farm real estate value averaged $3,160 per acre, which includes the value of all the land and buildings on farms. That’s a rise of $60 per acre, or 1.9 percent, over 2018. The U.S. cropland value averaged $4,100 per acre, $50 per acre higher over the previous year, or a jump of 1.2 percent.