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Iowa Farmland Prices Fall 1% According to Realtor "Survey"

By Jason Smith, CAI Auctioneer | Land Broker | Published March 17, 2019


farmland prices by region in iowaA new survey out by the Realtors Land Institure in Iowa shows that statewide farmland prices shed 1% of their value over the last 6 months.  This would obviously equal a current rate of 2% value loss annually.  It is important to understand the Realtors Land Institute are based on a "survey"of member and not necessarily based on actual sale results.  The survey data is collected from land brokers all across the state of Iowa and individual reporting isn't based on a particular standardized reporting method which conveivably could result in variations.  The report very typically tracks in line with other reports on Iowa farmland prices and is released twice a year in March and September.  For actual sale results as they happen you can always visit for up to date actual sale reports.

Not surprisingly this report shows a loss in value of farmland in Iowa.  I think we are all expecting that and in fact at a lesser rate than some had expected.  The low volume of available farmland continues to help hold prices in a favorable place for sellers.  High quality farmland is especially well positioned in volume to continue near record prices.  I tend to define "high quality cropland" as farms with at least 95% tillable acreage and 75+ CSR2 Rating.  Farms of that magnitude will for sure fit the catagory but with no official definition for High Quality it can be open for interpertation.  

Medium quality farmland tends to be the most questionable in this market and can be the farms that create the anamolies we see in farmland sale results, both high and low.  Local volume seems to dictate the value of the medium quality farms which I would define as those 40 to 65 CSR2 farms.  In areas where multiple of these types of farms have sold you see results weaken by the 3 or 4th sale into the same neighborhood, but if its the 1st or 2nd sale it can be very strong.  If its the 6th or 7th sale of a medium quality farm in a neighborhood in a 12 month period you are more likely to see mediocre price results and auction outcomes on those farms.  I am often asked the question "whats the best time of year to sell a farm" and in today's market it can be more of a race to beat another farm to market.  We often see weakening demand when 2 or more farms are available at the same time in the same neighborhood.  

iowa farm land values in countyLow quality farms are more and more moving toward listings rather than auctions where sellers might see more safety in negotiated private sales.  The report makes mention of this and we can say thats as well been our observation and advice to some sellers, where they certainly can genreate a cash offer quickly with an auction but achieving a premium price, while it may take more time can result in the best price outcomes for the lower quality tracts of land.

The report can give you a good idea of the overall market but really can't tell you much about your individual farm.  We offer an online Land Value Calculator you can use to help estimate the value of your particular farm if you know a few particulars about your farm.  Go give it a try and learn what your farm is worth quickly.

Download the Spring 2019 Realtor Land Institure Land Value Survey 


Here are the results of the Spring 2019 Farmland Values survey alongside the results of the last report which was released in September 2018.  You'll notice the variations in farmland price appreciation from region to region in this chart and you should keep in mind as you compare your own farm to averages values really do vary based on many factors,  Getting a professional opinion before selling your farm is the best path forward for every land seller.

  Iowa Farmland Prices March 2019 High Quality Cropland Medium Quality Cropland Low Quality Cropland Non - Tillable Pasture Per Acre

Timber Per Acre

PERCENT Change 6 Months 

September March September March September March September March September March
Central Iowa Farmland Prices $9,775 $9,571 $7,282 $7,083








East Central Iowa Farmland Prices












North Central Iowa Farmland Prices












Northeast Iowa Farmland Prices












Northwest Iowa Farmland Prices












South Central Iowa Farmland Prices












Southeast Iowa Farmland Prices












Southwest Iowa Farmland Prices  $7,860











West Central Iowa Farmland Prices











State of Iowa Farmland Prices  $9,239  $9,157  $6,860  $6,788  $4,478  $4,437  $2,839  $2,808  $2,498




New call-to-action If you are in a position to sell land in Iowa we can help you achieve the top of the market on your sale.  We offer brokerage and auctions and many specialized advertising opportunities that will get you maximum exposure and processes that are super easy for you as the seller.  Want to see what we think your farm will sell for?  Thats easy too, follow the link and we'll write you a full FREE report on your farm and show you the best path forward.  If you prefer, give us a call 515-537-6633 or email and we'll get you an answer quickly.




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