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3614 Administrative Services Building
Ames, Iowa 50011-3614
(515) 294-9915

12/19/01

Contacts:
Michael D. Duffy, Extension Economics, (515) 294-3000, mduffy@iastate.edu
Del Marks, Extension Communication Systems, (515) 294-9807, delmarks@iastate.edu

Value of Iowa Farmland Gains 3.7 Percent in 2001

AMES, Iowa -- The average value of an acre of farmland in Iowa increased to $1,926 in 2001, continuing an upward trend that started last year after two years of declining values, according to an annual survey conducted at Iowa State University.

The increase averaged $69 an acre, or 3.7 percent statewide, said Michael Duffy, ISU Extension economist who directed the survey. The survey reported declines of 1.1 percent in 1999 and 1.9 percent in 1998. Before 1998, land values had increased for 11 consecutive years. This year’s increase was reflected in individual increases in all 99 Iowa counties and in all grades of land.

Increases this year topped out at 7.1 percent in Fremont, Mills, Montgomery and Page counties in southwest Iowa and Jones and Scott Counties in eastern Iowa. At the low end of the scale, Dickinson, Lyon, O'Brien and Osceola Counties in northwest Iowa had increases of only 1.2 percent. Scott County, which has had the highest land values in the state for several years, exceeded the $3,000 mark for the second year in a row with an average value of $3,233.

The 2001 statewide average is $221 below the all-time high of $2,147 per acre reported in 1981. The greatest increases this year were in counties in the southwestern corner of the state and along the eastern border. Northwest and north central Iowa showed the smallest percentage increases.

Low grade land averaged $1,170 this year and showed a 4.7 percent increase over 2000. The $1,170 average is a record for low grade land. Previously, the highest level it had reached was $1,157 an acre in 1981. As land quality improved, the increase in value declined, with medium grade land averaging $1,768, a 3.9 percent increase, and high grade land averaging $2,407, a 3.6 percent increase.

Duffy said six factors were mentioned by more than 10 percent of the respondents as having positive impacts on land values this year. Lower interest rates led the list, mentioned by 48 percent of those participating in the survey. The effects of government payments and programs were viewed as a positive factor by 40 percent. Two factors, crop yields and the availability of land on the market, each were mentioned by 14 percent, and pressures from farm expansion and consolidation were viewed as a positive factor by 13 percent.

Negative pressures on farmland prices included poor markets and prices for farm commodities, mentioned by 59 percent, and world conditions, including the economy and the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack, mentioned by 20 percent. Another 20 percent said uncertainty over future government programs was a negative factor.

Most buyers of Iowa farmland continue to be existing farmers who are increasing their holdings (67 percent), Duffy said, but investors made 27 percent of the purchases this year. This percentage has been consistent for the past four years and is a significant increase over 1997. Sales to investors were highest in south central Iowa at 41 percent, while sales to existing farmers were highest in west central Iowa at 74 percent. Eighteen percent of the survey respondents said there were more sales this year, 51 percent said the number of sales was about the same as last year, and 31 percent said there were fewer sales.

The highest land values by crop reporting district were reported in east central Iowa where the average was $2,340 per acre, up 6.1 percent from last year. The lowest average value was $1,039 per acre in south central Iowa, up 4.7 percent from last year.

Iowa State University has conducted an annual survey of land values since 1941. The ISU survey is conducted on Nov. 1 each year and is the only survey that reports land values in each of Iowa's 99 counties.

More than 1,100 licensed real estate brokers and others knowledgeable about farmland are invited to participate, and this year's survey drew 599 usable responses. Only the statewide data and the crop reporting district data are calculated directly from the survey results. Data collected in the survey are combined with data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture to determine county figures. The survey is cosponsored by the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station and Iowa State University Extension.

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For additional information on the survey and on surveys from prior years, visit the ISU Extension web site at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/emms/lvs2001/.

Values by county and by crop reporting district listed below include the 2001 average value per acre, the 2000 average value, the dollar increase from 2000 to 2001, and the percentage increase from 2000 to 2001.

By County:

2000-2001
County Name
2001 $/acre
2000 $/acre
$ Change
% Change
Adair
1,264
1,189
75
6.3%
Adams
1,275
1,204
71
5.9%
Allamakee
1,314
1,228
86
7.0%
Appanoose
853
816
36
4.4%
Audubon
1,913
1,839
74
4.0%
Benton
2,214
2,151
64
3.0%
Black Hawk
2,459
2,394
65
2.7%
Boone
2,373
2,328
45
1.9%
Bremer
2,268
2,176
92
4.2%
Buchanan
2,231
2,142
88
4.1%
Buena Vista
2,356
2,319
38
1.6%
Butler
2,164
2,106
58
2.8%
Calhoun
2,398
2,354
44
1.9%
Carroll
2,103
2,066
37
1.8%
Cass
1,718
1,620
97
6.0%
Cedar
2,516
2,365
151
6.4%
Cerro Gordo
2,252
2,189
63
2.9%
Cherokee
2,086
2,041
44
2.2%
Chickasaw
1,821
1,744
77
4.4%
Clarke
1,005
956
48
5.0%
Clay
2,174
2,139
35
1.6%
Clayton
1,804
1,686
118
7.0%
Clinton
2,076
1,961
115
5.9%
Crawford
1,883
1,828
55
3.0%
Dallas
2,028
1,971
56
2.9%
Davis
1,108
1,063
44
4.2%
Decatur
798
765
34
4.4%
Delaware
2,408
2,263
145
6.4%
Des Moines
1,845
1,773
71
4.0%
Dickinson
1,999
1,975
24
1.2%
Dubuque
2,177
2,034
143
7.0%
Emmet
2,241
2,205
36
1.6%
Fayette
2,076
1,966
110
5.6%
Floyd
2,091
2,029
62
3.1%
Franklin
2,216
2,161
55
2.6%
Fremont
1,665
1,554
111
7.1%
Greene
2,076
2,035
42
2.0%
Grundy
2,450
2,395
55
2.3%
Guthrie
1,729
1,665
63
3.8%
Hamilton
2,519
2,467
52
2.1%
Hancock
2,274
2,214
60
2.7%
Hardin
2,255
2,208
47
2.1%
Harrison
1,789
1,700
90
5.3%
Henry
1,785
1,716
69
4.0%
Howard
1,640
1,571
69
4.4%
Humboldt
2,417
2,363
55
2.3%
Ida
2,120
2,056
65
3.1%
Iowa
1,874
1,817
57
3.1%
Jackson
1,834
1,713
121
7.0%
Jasper
1,956
1,892
64
3.4%
Jefferson
1,380
1,327
53
4.0%
Johnson
2,380
2,266
114
5.0%
Jones
1,985
1,854
131
7.1%
Keokuk
1,683
1,620
63
3.9%
Kossuth
2,337
2,282
55
2.4%
Lee
1,632
1,567
66
4.2%
Linn
2,498
2,357
141
6.0%
Louisa
2,079
1,979
100
5.1%
Lucas
911
873
39
4.4%
Lyon
2,024
2,000
24
1.2%
Madison
1,539
1,456
84
5.7%
Mahaska
1,721
1,655
67
4.0%
Marion
1,648
1,581
67
4.2%
Marshall
2,066
2,015
51
2.5%
Mills
1,819
1,698
121
7.1%
Mitchell
2,049
1,987
61
3.1%
Monona
1,627
1,561
66
4.2%
Monroe
1,126
1,081
45
4.2%
Montgomery
1,546
1,443
103

7.1%

Muscatine
2,271
2,142
130
6.1%
O'Brien
2,498
2,468
30
1.2%
Osceola
2,137
2,112
25
1.2%
Page
1,394
1,302
93
7.1%
Palo Alto
2,177
2,133
44
2.1%
Plymouth
2,213
2,146
68
3.2%
Pocahontas
2,381
2,329
51
2.2%
Polk
2,078
2,026
51
2.5%
Pottawattamie
1,921
1,809
112
6.2%
Poweshiek
1,868
1,811
58
3.2%
Ringgold
968
918
50
5.5%
Sac
2,246
2,206
40
1.8%
Scott
3,233
3,018
214
7.1%
Shelby
1,900
1,807
93
5.1%
Sioux
2,368
2,319
49
2.1%
Story
2,433
2,384
49
2.1%
Tama
2,014
1,965
49
2.5%
Taylor
1,117
1,051
65
6.2%
Union
1,168
1,108
60
5.4%
Van Buren
1,222
1,173
49
4.2%
Wapello
1,302
1,251
50
4.0%
Warren
1,656
1,589
68
4.2%
Washington
2,151
2,071
80
3.9%
Wayne
870
833
37
4.4%
Webster
2,484
2,432
52
2.1%
Winnebago
2,049
1,995
54
2.7%
Winneshiek
1,692
1,600
91
5.7%
Woodbury
1,731
1,665
66
4.0%
Worth
2,063
2,005
58
2.9%
Wright
2,490
2,434
56
2.3%

By Crop Reporting District:

2000-2001
District
2001 $/acre
2000 $/acre
$ Change
% Change
Northwest
2,240
2,198
42
1.9%
North Central
2,240
2,169
71
3.3%
Northeast
1,950
1,868
82
4.4%
West Central
1,969
1,924
45
2.3%
Central
2,246
2,195
51
2.3%
East Central
2,324
2,190
134
6.1%
Southwest
1,511
1,412
99
7.0%
South Central
1,039
992
47
4.7%
Southeast
1,705
1,655
50
3.0%
State Avg.
1,926
1,857
69
3.7%

ml: isufarm, imajor


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