Midwest farmland values fall in Q1

Values for 'good' farmland in the first quarter of 2014 were down in the Corn Belt region, according to the Chicago Fed’s latest agricultural letter.

Farmland values in the Midwest were down 1 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with Q4 2013, according to AgLetter, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s agricultural newsletter.

The quarterly survey, which covers the seventh district, showed that some states experienced increases, while values declined in other states.

While land values in Illinois and Indiana both dipped by 4 percent in the first three months of the year, Iowa and Wisconsin saw land values increase, albeit by just 1 percent. Overall, compared with the same period last year, farmland values in the seventh district we up by 1 percent.

Farmland values in the eleventh district, which includes Texas, northern Louisiana and southern New Mexico, continued rising in the first quarter. Ranchland and dryland values increased almost 5 percent over last year, while irrigated cropland was up about 4 percent compared with last year.

In the south, the Fed’s St Louis bank, which covers states like Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky, also reported a dip in farmland prices. The survey found that quality farmland values across the district averaged $5,496 per acre in the first quarter of 2014 – down 6.3 percent compared with the final quarter of 2013. Nevertheless, the value represents a 7.5 percent rise compared with the same period a year ago.