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Cash Rents Continue Higher in 2021

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The National Agricultural Statistics Service says farmers around the nation paid an average of $141 an acre to rent cropland in 2021. That’s two dollars higher than last year and up by seven dollars compared to five years ago.

To get the numbers, NASS surveys roughly 250,000 farmers with $1,000 or more in agricultural sales. This crop season, the highest average cash rents for cropland are in California, Hawaii, and Arizona. Those three states saw larger rents and year-over-year changes than many Corn Belt states. However, they also produce a lot more specialty crops, whose higher values command larger cash rents.

DTN analyzed the numbers and included several states in its top ten list of cash rents that farmers might not consider a part of the Corn Belt, but that do produce a large quantity of corn, beans, wheat, and other small grains. Iowa had the highest average cash rate for cropland at $233 an acre. Illinois is number 2, while Indiana edged out Nebraska for number 3. Nebraska is fourth, followed by Minnesota, which saw the highest gain in cash rents at $13 an acre. Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri round out DTN’s top ten list of the highest cash rental rates.