Iowa farmland price falls 3.7% as commodity rout continues

The fourth successive half of falling farmland prices in the US's second largest crop producing state takes values 20% lower than September 2013, reflecting the slide in corn and soybean prices.

The price of Iowa farmland has fallen 3.7 percent in the six months to September, taking the slide in value in the US’s second biggest crop producing state to 11.3 percent over a 12-month period, according to the Iowa Chapter of the US Realtors Land Institute.

The figures released in the farmland value survey show the fourth successive half of declines, taking the overall fall in land values to 20.1 percent since September 2013. Over that period, the value of prime farmland has fallen from almost $11,700 per acre to just over $9,500 per acre.

Iowa is the second largest farming state in the US in terms of crop receipts after California, according to US Department of Agriculture data. State crop receipts have plummeted since 2012 as commodity prices, and particularly feed crops like corn and soy beans, have fallen. Iowa pulled in $14 billion in 2014 compared with $20 billion in 2012, figures show.

The falling prices follow a longer-term surge in land values following the financial crisis. Even after the 20 percent slide over two years, the price of prime farmland is still 70 percent higher than it was in late 2008, and a similar percentage more than the best sites in other crop-growing areas like the Mississippi River valley, where prime land sells for under $6,000 per acre.