Average Iowa farmland value is estimated to be $8,296 per acre, an increase of 23.7 percent from 2011, according to results of the Iowa Land Value Survey conducted in November. This is the third year in a row where values have increased more than 15 percent. The 2012 values are historical peaks.
The increase is somewhat higher than results of other recent surveys of Iowa farmland value: the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank estimated an 18 percent increase in Iowa land values from October 2011 to October 2012 and the Iowa Chapter of the Realtors Land Institute estimated a 7.7 percent increase from March to September 2012. “The difference in survey estimates could be due to values increasing more rapidly in the past few months than earlier in the year. Better than expected crop yields and the level of land sale activity due to the proposed changes in land related taxes contributed to the increasing values,” said Mike Duffy, Iowa State University economics professor and extension farm management economist who conducts the survey. “The Iowa State survey samples different populations, and uses different wording than the other surveys. This could also lead to different results especially in times of uncertainty. Even within the Iowa State survey there was considerable variation in the estimates.”
O’Brien County had an estimated $12,862 average value, the highest average county value. O’Brien County also had the highest percentage increase and highest dollar increase in value, 35.2 percent and $3,348, respectively. Osceola, Dickinson and Lyon counties also saw 35.2 percent increases. The Northwest Crop Reporting District, which includes all four counties, reported the highest land values at $12,890, an increase of $3,241 (33.6 percent) from 2011.