Land Quality Perceptions in Expert Opinion Surveys: Evidence from Iowa

Wendong Zhang, Michael D. Duffy
January 2017  [17-WP 574]

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Suggested citation:

Zhang, W. and M.D. Duffy. 2017. "Land Quality Perceptions in Expert Opinion Surveys: Evidence from Iowa." Working paper 17-WP 574. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


While many opinion-based surveys ask land values for different land quality classes, little is known how survey respondents perceive the land quality. Using the 2015 Iowa Land Value Survey, this article examines how respondents perceive land quality in their responses to land value questions. Our results show agricultural professionals seem to perceive land quality with respect to specific regions, and high, medium and low land quality should be interpreted locally within a crop reporting district. This case study suggests that it is difficult to generalize uniform yield or soil productivity index ranges for land quality questions in all opinion-based surveys.