Land values hit a record high in the 2003 Iowa State University Extension Department survey, but will the upward trend continue in 2004? Economist Michael Duffy conducts the survey and he says there are some things that could impact the trend. One of the biggest factors could be interest rates, which were cited by 50-percent of the people in this year’s survey as a reason for the increase in land value. Duffy says a lot of what happens to the interest rates is dependent on factors outside the ag economy. Duffy says 2004 is an election year, and that’s another factor that can impact farmland prices. Duffy says values are tied heavily to farm programs and subsidies, and that’s why elections can have an impact. Duffy says one thing we’ll see in 2004 and the years to come is a continued change to multiple ownership of Iowa farmland. That’s because nearly 50-percent of the farmland is owned by Iowans who’re 65 and older. He says as we see the land transferred from one generation to the next, we’re seeing a lot of the land held by two or three brothers and sisters. Duffy says it will be interesting to see how all theses factors impact the value of land in the next year.
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