South Dakota farmland values inched down 1.8% in the first six months of 2017, according to a Farm Credit Services of America’s midyear benchmark survey. The average price per acre was $4,000. The number of public land auctions dropped 29% compared to the same period a year ago. “No sale” at auctions increased to 5.4%, up from 3.9% for the first half of 2017.
South Dakota’s change in land values fell about in the middle of the other states included in the survey. In eastern Kansas, benchmark values were off about 3%. They were unchanged in Nebraska and up slightly in Iowa and Wyoming. North Dakota, which is not served by FCSAmerica, was not part of the survey.
Sales activity across the FCSAmerica territory was down 21% in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
“It appears that the pace of decline in land values that we have seen during the past two years is slowing even though pressure on profit margins continues for grain producers,” said Mark Jensen, FCSAmerica senior vice president and chief risk officer, in a statement.
According to the FCSAmerica report, the trend in other states is as follows:
Iowa — Cropland prices, which increased marginally in the second quarter of 2017, are in line with those reported in 2015, but remain 19% below the record prices of 2013. The average price for unimproved ground sold during the second quarter of 2017 topped $8,100. Twenty-one percent of all sales in the second quarter had a per-acre price above $10,000. This was up 11% compared to the previous year. Public land auctions are down 4% for the year compared to the first half of 2016. However, second quarter sales were 18% higher than in the second quarter of 2016. The percentage of “no sales” fell from 4.7% in the first half of 2016 to 1.7% for the same period this year.
Kansas — Cropland prices declined minimally from the last half of 2016. An acre of farmland sold for an average of $3,900 during the first six months of 2017. Public land auctions were down 38% from the first half of 2016.
Nebraska — Prices on dry cropland fell sharply during the second quarter of 2017, in part because sales were down. Sales also occurred in atypical locations, as reflected in a historically low soil quality average. About a third of the sales occurred in western Nebraska. Prices on irrigated cropland, by comparison, were consistent with the last half of 2016 and reflected better soil quality in the first half of 2017. The average per-acre price was near $6,600. Public land auctions dropped 28% from the same period in 2016.
Wyoming — The number of completed sales in Wyoming so far this year has declined 47%. The limited number and diverse nature of sales, as well as highest and best use of the land, make it difficult to identify sales trends.