2019 Iowa State University Land Value Survey: Overview

Wendong Zhang
December 2019  [19-WP 597]

Since 1950, the Iowa State University Land Value Survey has been the only data source that provides a county-level land value estimate for each of the 99 counties in Iowa. The 2019 Iowa State University Land Value Survey reported a 2.3 percent increase to $7,432 per acre in average Iowa farmland values from November 2018 to November 2019. This modest rise, which barely exceeds inflation, is the second increase in Iowa farmland values over the past six years, but still represents a 15 percent decline from the 2013 peak in nominal land values, or a 23 percent drop in inflation-adjusted values. This recent rise is largely attributable to lower interest rates, limited land supply, strong yields, and to some extent the trade aid payments to farmers. On the other hand, the magnitude of this increase only slightly outpaced inflation, and we are still faced with low commodity prices and trade uncertainty. All crop reporting districts reported an increase in land values except for the Northeast district which saw a decline of 2.9 percent. In general, the results from the 2019 Iowa State University Land Value Survey echo results from other surveys, which all showed relatively stable farmland market trends.

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