Wallaces Farmer

Farmland values boosted by lack of land for sale, higher crop prices

Land Values: The few farms that are on the market are creating a lot of competition — and in many cases, setting new sale price highs.

Doug Hensley

May 17, 2021

3 Min Read
Iowa corn field
POLICY CONCERNS: Despite high land values supported by low interest rates and a lack of available land for sale, there are a number of questions related to proposed capital gains, estate-related policies and tax rates, and their impact on agriculture should they be passed into law. Tyler Harris

The 2021 planting season across Iowa arrived in early April, and by the end of the first week in May, was essentially concluded. Many farmers planted their crops in somewhat dry soil conditions, but that has not hindered producer optimism.

To the contrary, the beginning of the growing season this year included just about as much optimism in the countryside as I can recall. $6-plus corn and $15-plus soybeans have a way of doing that! As you might expect, this positive profit outlook is moving the land market higher.

And the strength in the farmland market is buoyed even more by low interest rates and a lack of farms for sale. The few farms that are on the market are creating great competition — and in many cases, setting new sale price highs. Across my two-and-a-half decades in the farmland business, I cannot recall a stronger market. And the attraction toward buying land is coming from farmers and investors alike.

Yet, the policy-related question marks from earlier this year are beginning to come into focus. Specifically, the proposed Biden administration plans for capital gains, estate-related policies, and tax rates for individuals and corporations alike, appear painful to many corners of agriculture — and farmland owners in general. Are these policies, should they be passed into law, enough to extinguish the current land market strength? It will all be worth watching. In the meantime, check out some of the eye-popping sales results detailed below.

Northwest

Plymouth County. 74 acres east of Akron recently sold at public auction for $15,000 per acre. The farm consisted of 72 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 64.1, and equaled $240 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

North central

Worth County. 75 acres near Manly recently sold at public auction for $8,570 per acre. The farm consisted of 74 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 64.9, and equaled $134 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Northeast

Bremer County. 50 acres west of Denver recently sold for $8,000 per acre. The farm consisted of 48 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 73.5, and equaled $113 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

West central

Crawford County. 116 acres, located west of Kiron, recently sold at public auction for $9,135 per acre. The farm consisted of 112 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 77.2, and equaled $123 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Central

Dallas County. 145 acres near Adel recently sold by sealed-bid sale for $16,056 per acre. The farm consisted of 143 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 90.1, and equaled $181 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

East central

Muscatine County. 81 acres northeast of Lone Tree recently sold for $11,200 per acre. The farm consisted of 77 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 87.9, and equaled $134 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Southwest

Pottawattamie County. 162 acres north of Oakland recently sold at public auction for $10,350 per acre. The farm consisted of 158 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 79.8, and equaled $133 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

South central

Decatur County. 320 acres north of Lamoni recently sold for $3,000 per acre. The farm consisted of 195 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 26.0 and is currently used as grassland pasture. The balance of the farm was in timber, ponds and waste.

Southeast

Van Buren County. 102 acres east of Birmingham recently sold at public auction for $12,600 per acre. The farm consisted of 95 tillable acres, with a CSR2 of 81.2, and equaled $167 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.

 

About the Author(s)

Doug Hensley

president, Hertz Real Estate Services

Hensley is president of Hertz Real Estate Services. The Hertz Farm Management Co. was started in 1946, and now provides a full spectrum of services that includes professional farm management, real estate sales, auctions, acquisitions and farm appraisals.

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