University of Missouri Extension’s recent land value survey shows that average land prices for non-irrigated cropland across the state increased about 4 percent or $204 per acre from last year.
The study shows averages of $5,421 per acre for good non-irrigated cropland. Survey respondents rated good irrigated cropland at $6,148 per acre, $634 more per acre than last year.
MU Extension economist Ray Massey says the web-based survey considered the average value of three classes of cropland and pasture as of July 2019. It also considered timberland as well as hunting and recreational land.
Demand remains strong and rental rates decreased little. Broadband internet expansion might influence some sales near metropolitan areas.
Massey also points to low interest rates and low rates of return on “safe” investments such as certificates of deposit causing people to put their money in land.
Bootheel area land topped statewide values at $7,090 for good non-irrigated cropland and $7,353 for good irrigated land while even poor cropland ranked at $4,051.
Respondents estimated good pastureland at a statewide average of $3,174 per acre, up $259 or 9% from 2018 estimates.
Changes in value varied
Reported changes in value varied greatly, from a 6 percent decrease to a 22 percent increase. Pastureland in counties bordering the Missouri and Mississippi rivers showed the highest values.
Hunting/recreational property in those same counties also ranked at the top, with timberland values at $2,789 and hunting/recreational land values at $2,700.
Overall, Missouri hunting/recreational land and timberland posted a 12 percent increase in value.
Central Missouri timber/hunting and recreational land grew the most in value, according to the survey, with a 32 percent positive change. Good cropland and pastureland in central Missouri posted upward changes of 22 percent.
The Lake of the Ozarks region posted the highest changes in land values in the state for timber/hunting and recreational land at 34 percent.
The survey also reports a growing trend of buyers planning to farm the land themselves. As many as 62 percent of buyers plan to farm the land; 27 percent intend to rent out the land; 10 percent plan to use the land for non-farming purposes.
Massey says survey respondents expect little change in land values in the coming year. “In 2018, the respondents to this survey expected land values to decrease slightly. This year, while some regions show decreases and some increases, the average value of cropland, pastureland, timberland and recreational land across the state is expected to hold where it is now,” he says.
Massey says 75 percent of responses came from lenders, 12 percent from farmers, 9 percent from rural appraisers and 4 percent from other occupations.
For the complete report, go to extension2.missouri.edu/g401.