Dakota Farmer

North Dakota pastureland’s average value declines

Across the state, the average value for pastureland has fallen 3%. Average cash rental rates are down 5.1%.

May 1, 2020

2 Min Read
A herd of cattle grazing in a pasture
LOWER RENT: Cattle graze in a pasture in the Sheyenne River Valley in southeast North Dakota. The southeast region experienced one of the largest drops in cash rents, falling 7.6% from 2019. Lon Tonneson

The average cash rental rate for pastureland in North Dakota is down approximately 5% and pastureland values are down nearly 3%, according to Bryon Parman, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural finance specialist.

The largest drops in cash rents from 2019 to 2020 are in the northwestern region, falling 8.2%; the south-central region, falling 8.7%; and the southeastern region, falling 7.6%. Pasture rental and sales data from the northeastern, northern Red River Valley and southern Red River Valley regions was not included in this report because they have very little pastureland.

The north-central, southwestern and east-central regions experienced cash rental declines between 1% to 2%, for a statewide average decline of approximately 5%.

The most-expensive pastureland rental rate continues to be in the southeastern region at $31.70 per acre, or $44.65 per Animal Unit Month, while the least-expensive rate is the northwestern region at $11.10 per acre or $16.82 per AUM.


Pastureland value did increase in some regions. It increased 1.1% from $1,042 per acre to $1,054 per acre in the south-central region. In the southeastern region, value increased 3.6% from $1,437 per acre to $1,489 per acre.

The two largest declines occurred in the northwestern and east-central regions. Values in the northwestern region fell from $630 per acre to $552 per acre, or a decline of 12.4%. The east-central region’s value fell from a high in 2019 of $1,052 per acre to $948 per acre in 2020, or a drop of 9.9%.

More modest declines occurred in the southwestern region, falling 5% from $927 per acre to $881 per acre. The north-central region fell 1.1% from $805 per acre to $796 per acre.

“The 2020 Department of Trust Lands survey was conducted before the effects the COVID-19 crisis had a chance to be felt across the livestock industry,” Parman says. “Livestock markets have moved dramatically lower in recent weeks and should they persist well below 2019 prices for much of the year, it will likely have an impact on pastureland prices and rents heading into 2021.”


Parman used data in the County Rents and Prices Annual Survey, funded by the North Dakota Department of Land Trusts, to develop the weighted regional averages.

Source: NDSU, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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