Iowa Land Supply and Price Update Q1 2021

Wendong Zhang, Hannah Spies
April 2021  [21-SR 113]

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Suggested citation:

Zhang, W. and H. Spies. 2021. "Iowa Land Supply and Price Update Q1 2021." Staff report 21-SR 113. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


The Q1 2021 update reveals several important findings:

• The Iowa land market proved itself again in providing stability and growth in an uncertain agricultural economic environment. High-quality land sold at around $10,500/acre, and medium and low-quality land sold around $7,300/acre and $4,500/acre, respectively, which is 20% higher than 2019 levels. This reflects tremendous surges in commodity prices and farmland sales prices, especially in the latter half of 2020.

• Farmland supply is still tight—only 72,275 acres sold at auction this year, and limited land supply tends to support land values.

• The pandemic has led to a transition of land sale modes, with more acres sold using real estate listings as opposed to land auctions, especially in Q2 and Q3 2020. However, things seem to be returning to normal with much larger shares sold via auctions in Q4 2020.

This is the first of a quarterly series in collaboration with FarmlandFinder (, built on ISU-FarmlandFinder Research Collaboration Agreement 136585, and it hopefully provides timely and important ground-truth information on the Iowa land market, especially critical land supply information.