Farm Progress

Wisconsin farmland prices dip

Weaker dairy and crop prices dampened demand for land

Fran O'Leary, Wisconsin Agriculturist Senior Editor

April 4, 2016

1 Min Read

Land values in Wisconsin declined 3% in 2015 due to continued low corn, soybean and wheat prices and milk prices that deteriorated throughout the year.

According to Arlin Brannstrom, faculty associate at the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability in Madison, the statewide weighted average Wisconsin agricultural land values was$3,833 per acre in 2015. This was a 3% decrease from 2014.


While thousands and thousands of homes are sold each year, only a small fraction of the state’s agricultural land changes hands on the open market in any given year.


"Weaker dairy and crop prices helped to dampen demand for land," Brannstrom says. "With low commodity prices expected in 2016, producer competition for land will likely soften again in 2016."

The total number of acres sold declined by 5% last year and the total number of sales dropped by 8%.

"Farmland is the most valuable asset on most farmers' balance sheet," Brannstrom explains. "However, estimating land values is always difficult. There is nothing more unique than an individual parcel of land." 

About the Author(s)

Fran O'Leary

Wisconsin Agriculturist Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Fran O’Leary lives in Brandon, Wis., and has been editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist since 2003. Even though O’Leary was born and raised on a farm in Illinois, she has spent most of her life in Wisconsin. She moved to the state when she was 18 years old and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Before becoming editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist, O’Leary worked at Johnson Hill Press in Fort Atkinson as a writer and editor of farm business publications and at the Janesville Gazette in Janesville as farm editor and a feature writer. Later, she signed on as a public relations associate at Bader Rutter in Brookfield, and served as managing editor and farm editor at The Reporter, a daily newspaper in Fond du Lac.

She has been a member of American Agricultural Editors’ Association (now Agricultural Communicators Network) since 2003.

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