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Survey: Iowa cropland value falls $570/acre

By Staff | Apr 20, 2014

DUBUQUE (IRLI) – A survey shows the value of Iowa cropland has dropped for the first time since 2009.

The survey from the Iowa Realtors Land Institute showed the value of tillable cropland fell by 5.4 percent in the past six months.

The report found the average price of high-quality farmland was $11,104 per acre, a drop of .5 percent, or $570 per acre, from the last survey released in September.

The survey showed declines in all nine regions of the state, with the largest drop in southeast Iowa.

Reasons for the decline include lower commodity prices, increasing interest rates and higher input costs, which covers items such as fuel and fertilizer.

Prices for Iowa farmland have more than doubled in the past five years.

Average high-quality farmland cost $5,297 in 2009, but had soared to $11,515 by 2013.

Dubuque County Assessor Dave Kubik said he expected the drop in farmland values, given the decline in corn prices.

Kubik said he’s been more surprised by a big drop in the number of sales.

The county assessor’s office recorded only two sales in the first quarter this year, compared to 19 sales in the first quarter of 2013.

Given the small number of sales, some real estate agents questioned how much groups could estimate farmland values with little market data.

“At the present time,” said Jim Bradley, an agent at Dubuque-based Brissey Realty, “I don’t think anyone knows for sure what is going on.”

Terry Pauling, president of the Iowa Realtors Land Institute, said the survey isn’t based solely on sales data and was accurate.

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