AMES, Iowa — Rental rates for Iowa farmland have been pushed significantly higher by the favorable corn and soybean prices farmers have enjoyed since 2010. This trend continued in 2013, but the rate of increase slowed considerably.
Results from the most recent survey of farmland rental rates conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach showed that the average estimated cash rent for corn and soybean land in the state for 2013 was $270 per acre, an increase of $18 per acre or 7 percent from last year. This compares to increases of 16 percent in 2011 and 18 percent in 2012. Lower crop yields due to prolonged dry weather and lower price forecasts for the 2013 crop have tempered the optimism about prospective profits.
Average rents were moderately higher in all nine crop reporting districts, with increases ranging from 13 percent in east central Iowa to 4 percent in southwest Iowa.
Typical rental rates per bushel of corn yield, soybean yield and CSR point were computed for each county and are available in the full report, Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2013 Survey. Typical charges for land growing oats and hay, for grazing pasture and corn stalks, and for renting hunting rights are also included in the report.
The intent of the Iowa State survey is to report typical rents being paid each year, not the highest nor the lowest values heard through informal sources. Rental values were estimated by asking people familiar with land rental markets what they thought were typical rates in their county. The number of responses received this year was 1,703, a 20 percent increase from last year. Of the total responses, 50 percent came from farmers, 27 percent from landowners, 13 percent from professional farm managers, 8 percent from agricultural lenders, and 2 percent from other professionals.
The Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2013 Survey is available online as a downloadable document from the Ag Decision Maker website www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/ and the Extension Online Store at https://store.extension.iastate.edu/.
Other resources available for estimating a fair cash rental rate include the Ag Decision Maker information files Computing a Cropland Cash Rental Rate (C2-20), Computing a Pasture Rental Rate (C2-23) and Flexible Farm Lease Agreements (C2-21). All documents include electronic decision tools to help analyze leasing questions.