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Iowa’s 2012 average cash rent jumps to $252 an acre

The average cash rent for corn and soybean cropland in Iowa is $252/acre for 2012, according to the latest Iowa State University (ISU) survey of cash rents in the state. This rate is up considerably from $214/acre average cash rent noted in 2011.

The ISU survey is conducted annually by William Edwards, extension economist, and Ann Johanns, extension program specialist. This year, more than 1,400 responses were obtained from landowners, farmers and agribusiness people regarding rental rates.

A strong farm economy driven by high commodity prices helped fuel the cash rent boost. Rental rates started jumping in 2011. Until then, cash rents moved more slowly. In 2008, the average cash rent for the state was $176/acre. In 2008, rents increased to an average of $183/acre and stayed stable at $184/acre for 2010. But in 2011, the rates increased to $214/acre.

The highest average cash rent of $279 was reported in the west-central area of Iowa (District 4). District 2 in north-central Iowa was close behind with $277/acre, and District 5 in central Iowa followed with $275/acre. The lowest cash rents were reported in Iowa’s south-central District 8 area with $195/acre.

The ISU survey reports cash rents by county, district and land quality. For a look at the complete survey findings, go to

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