Ag land values up 3% last year, UNL report says

Ag land values up 3% last year, UNL report says

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A farmer plants soybeans in a field in Springfield last year. Farmland prices rose 3% last year, the first increase in five years.

Agricultural land values increased last year in Nebraska for the first time in five years, according to a report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

UNL's Farm Real Estate Market Survey found that farm and ranch land values rose 3% on average last year to $2,650 per acre. That marked the first year-to-year increase since land values in the state peaked at $3,315 per acre in 2014.

Factors that drove the increase included the limited supply of land for sale, strong demand and disaster-assistance payments over the last year.

Estimated dryland cropland values in the state rose between 3% and 4%, while the values for irrigated cropland rose 2-3%. The increases were not uniform across the state, however, with the northwest and southwest districts seeing declines ranging from 2-5%.

Grazing land and hayland value estimates also rose between 2% and 5% over the last year, with slight declines in two districts. Major cow-calf pair regions, including the northwest, north and central districts, led the increase in market values, with growth between 6% and 8%.

The most valuable land and the land with the biggest overall price increase of 5% is in the east region, which includes Lancaster County. The average price per acre in 2019 was $6,510, more than twice the state average.

The Farm Real Estate Market Survey is an annual survey of land professionals, including appraisers, farm and ranch managers, and agricultural bankers.

The preliminary report was released in the Department of Agricultural Economics’ weekly Cornhusker Economics newsletter and is available at https://agecon.unl.edu/2020-nebraska-farm-real-estate-report.

Final results from the survey are expected to be published in early June.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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