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Serving: IA

2021 land values off to good start

Farm Progress Land for sale sign in cornfield
PENT-UP DEMAND: With few farms publicly available for sale, there is a situation resembling pent-up demand in many neighborhoods.
Land Values: With higher commodity prices, low interest rates and lack of available land for sale, farmland values start the year higher than expected.

Sale results over recent months in the Iowa (and Midwestern) farmland market have turned a lot of heads. Almost across the board, we have observed stronger land prices than anyone would have anticipated six months ago. And while the December release of the annual Iowa State Land Values release reflected a 1.7% increase in average land values, if you go into any coffee shop across Iowa, I think you will hear discussion of a market that “feels” stronger than 1.7%.

No question, we entered the new year with mostly positive signs for farmland owners. Commodity prices hit multiyear highs, driven in part on huge export demand. The improved profit picture has given land market participants an increasing confidence in the future. Interest rates remained incredibly low, relative to historical standards, which has motivated many buyers to bid more aggressively for available land.

Then, in late December, President Donald Trump signed the bill ratifying the third round of COVID-related support from the federal government to the U.S. economy, which included another Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payment to farm producers, thereby injecting additional liquidity into the countryside. No individual government payment has been life-changing, but when tallied together, the dollars look more significant. Finally, there are few farms publicly available for sale, which has created a scenario resembling pent-up demand in many neighborhoods.

It is somewhat common to look at the farmland market and see a couple positive and negative factors, thereby signaling stability. It is less common to see most — if not all –— signs point toward the positive, like the major drivers do here in early 2021. This has created an opportunity for anyone who is considering a farm sale.

However, when (not if) the tide turns on one or more of these major factors, the market can and will adjust. In the meantime, watch the main market drivers, particularly commodity prices, interest rates and overall land sales volume, as these factors seem to impact sale results most significantly in today’s market. But so long as these drivers stay positive, land sales will probably continue to turn heads, just like some of the sales noted below.

Northwest

Dickinson County. Located northwest of Terril, 120 acres recently sold at a virtual online auction for $10,350 per acre. The farm consisted of 107 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 85.5, which equals $136 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres. The non-tillable property included a minor creek, a grass waterway and a small timber acreage.

North-central

Cerro Gordo County. 130 acres, Located near Dougherty, recently sold at public auction for $7,600 per acre. The farm consisted of 121 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 79.3, which equals $103 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Northeast

Buchanan County. Located west of Lamont, 75 acres recently sold at public auction for $9,378 per acre. The farm consisted of 67 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 84.6, which equals $124 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

West-central

Calhoun County. Located north of Lohrville, 80 acres recently sold at public auction for $9,900 per acre. The farm consisted of 76 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 83.3, which equals $125 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Central

Poweshiek County. Located south of Deep River, 40 acres recently sold at public auction for $6,950 per acre. The farm consisted of 34 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 62.5, which equals $131 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres. Note: This land featured 4 acres of grass waterways.

East-central

Johnson County. Located north of Lone Tree, 78 acres recently sold for $10,950 per acre. The farm consisted of 78 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 88.2, which equals $124 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Southwest

Adams County. Located west of Creston, 210 acres, recently sold for $5,800 per acre. The farm consisted of 204 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 55.9, which equals $107 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

South-central

Madison County. Located south of Winterset, 60 acres  recently sold for $8,500 per acre. The farm consisted of 57 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 83.8, which equals $107 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Southeast

Washington County. Located northeast of Washington, 66 acres recently sold at a virtual online auction for $10,000 per acre. The farm consisted of 65 tillable acres, with a CSR2 of 80, which equals $127 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Hensley is president of Hertz Real Estate Services, which compiled this list, but not all sales were handled by Hertz. Call Hertz at 515-382-1500 or 800-593-5263 or visit hertz.ag.

 

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