There is one thing that’s gone up in price more than gasoline in the last year — farmland. Iowa State University Extension economist Mike Duffy conducts the annual farmland price survey. He says the average price of an acre of land went up 10-point-eight-percent to two-thousand-914 dollars — the third year in a row land values set a record.
Duffy says some familiar factors continued to push up the cost of ground, favorable interest rates, good crop yields, tax free exchanges, government programs and a strong investment demand were the ones mentioned by more than 10-percent of the people.
Duffy says land in south-central Iowa saw the largest increase. He says that’s not surprising since that land starts out at the lowest value. He says what they did see was an increase in investor interest in that area — the highest investor interest found in the state. Duffy says they found investor interest the strongest in the south-west and south-central areas of the state. Duffy says it’s hard to predict if the record values will continue for a fourth year. He says there are a few things that might indicate things will slow or level off — including increasing interest rates.
Duffy says we’ve had two years of double digit increases in the rates. He says there’s also going to be a new farm bill coming out and that’s something people are also looking at. The largest per-acre increase was 540-dollars in Scott County — which led to a state record average value of four-thousand-707 dollars-an-acre. Delaware, Marion, Mills and Audubon counties saw increases of more than 400 dollars-an-acre.