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USDA Report on Midwest Farmland Values

By Jason Smith, CAI Auctioneer | Land Broker | Published August 21, 2019

what is farmland worth?

Recently, the USDA released an annual report summarizing farmland values for 2019. According to the report, the U.S. farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $3,160 per acre for 2019, which is up $60 per acre (1.9%) from 2018. The U.S. cropland value averaged $4,100 per acre, an increase of $50 per acre (1.2%) from the previous year, while the U.S. pasture value averaged $1,400 per acre, up $30 (2.2%) from 2018.

In terms of individual states, Iowa and Michigan farmland values saw declines; however, other Midwest states such as Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin farmland values held steady. The higher average farmland value trend was seen in the northernmost Midwest states of North Dakota and South Dakota, although values and rates have decreased in Minnesota.

The reports did not disclose as to why average farmland values and rental rates rose at a time of lower crop prices and limited profits. Nor was it stated specifically the reasons for some states and regions to fall below average; but, many states were greatly hit with early onset heavy rains, flooding, and harsh winters leaving a larger negative impact.

2019 Cropland Value by State USDA MidwestAverage Cropland Value USDA Midwest

USDA Pasture Value Midwest State Farmland DreamDirtUSDA Average Pasture Value Midwest Farmland DreamDirt

In our opinion there tends to be a lag effect between Iowa and surrounding states. Termed “the Iowa Effect”, surrounding states’ land prices follow Iowa’s after 12-18 months. This seems to be the case here.  In 2019 we’ve experienced an unprecedented crop year with widespread flooding, MFP payments, a large crop insurance payout, and a mid-year $1 corn price boost.

Demand for Midwestern farmland has remained strong with the highest and best buyer being the farmer. We continue to see investor activity in the market. As many investment firms look at farmland and become more organized in their approach to farmland investment, it creates competition in the market that expresses itself in farmland values. This has been most noticeable over the last decade and changes the rules for the days where farmland prices were more closely tied to commodity prices.

Land values in my state

Midwest States and their respective farmland values

Illinois Farmland

Average Illinois cropland values are up 0.3% to $7,300 per acre. Average Illinois pasture values are down 0.9% to $3,170 per acre.


Indiana Farmland

Average Indiana cropland values remained steady at $6,210 per acre. Average Indiana pasture values are up 0.8% to $2,450 per acre.


Iowa Farmland

Average Iowa cropland values are down 0.4% to $7,260 per acre. Average Iowa pasture values are down 2.5% to $2,720 per acre.


Kansas Farmland

Average Kansas cropland values are up 4.9% to $2,160 per acre. Average Kansas pasture values are up 5.3% to $1,390 per acre.


Michigan Farmland

Average Michigan cropland values are down 0.2% to $4,500 per acre. Average Michigan pasture values are down 0.4% to $2,590 per acre.


Missouri Farmland

Average Missouri cropland values remained steady at $3,490 per acre. Average Missouri pasture values are up 3.1% to $1,980 per acre.


Minnesota Farmland

Average Minnesota cropland values are down 2.8% to $4,810 per acre. Average Minnesota pasture values are down 2.9% to $1,700 per acre. 


Nebraska Farmland

Average Nebraska cropland values are up 0.2% to $4,390 per acre. Average Nebraska pasture values are up 7.7% to $1,050 per acre.


North Dakota Farmland

Average North Dakota cropland values are up 2.7% to $1,920 per acre. Average North Dakota pasture values are up 5.7% to $820 per acre.


Ohio Farmland

Average Ohio cropland values are up 1.3% to $6,400 per acre. Average Ohio pasture values are down 0.6% to $3,350 per acre.


South Dakota Farmland

Average South Dakota cropland values are up 0.3% to $3,130 per acre. Average South Dakota pasture values are up 1% to $1,050 per acre. 


Wisconsin Farmland

Average Wisconsin cropland values are up 2.3% to $4,850 per acre. Average Wisconsin pasture values are up 2.2% to $2,310 per acre. 

At DreamDirt, we understand Midwestern farmland prices and can spot value quickly. The proper evaluation of your assets by an appraiser is the first step and often the foundation of your decision making when selling farmland real estate. We have developed the tools leveraging the right data on Midwest farmland prices and machinery sales to produce accurate results. 

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Whether you’re ready to start the selling process, or even remotely curious, we will gladly provide you with a FREE Market Analysis! If you are in a position to sell land in the Midwest, we want to help you achieve the top of the market on your sale.

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