The average value of an acre of Iowa farmland rose 2.9% for the six-month period ending March 1, according to the twice-yearly survey conducted by the Iowa Chapter of the REALTORS Land Institute (RLI). Coupled with the previous six-month gain reported by RLI in September, an average acre of Iowa farmland increased 4.9% compared to March 1, 2017. The survey pegs the value of an average acre of Iowa farmland at $6,951 an acre. The annual increase ends the four-year decline in farmland values since the March 2013 high. Despite this year's increase, values are down 20% from the 2013 high.
The survey puts the average value of an acre of high-quality cropland at $9,376 an acre, up 2.8% for the six months. The average value of an acre of medium-quality cropland is pegged at $6,925, up 2.8%. The average value of an acre of low-quality cropland is reported at $4,552, up 3.5%.
All Iowa crop reporting districts showed an increase in the average value of farmland. The gains varied from a 1.6% rise in the south central district to a 4.3% gain in the east central district. Three districts list an average value in excess of $10,000 for high-quality cropland. The northwest district remains the leader with an overall average value of $10,969 per acre. The east-central district posts an average value of $10,254 per acre and the central district lists an average of $10,107 an acre. As usual, the south-central district lists the lowest price for high-quality cropland with a value of $7,272 an acre.
The survey puts the average value of an acre of non-tillable pasture at $2,829, up 3.2%, and the average value of an acre of timber at $2,442, also up 3.2%.
The survey also found that farmers accounted for 83% of all purchases over the past six months, up from about 74% previously. The survey reports investors accounted for 13% of all purchases, down from about 20% previously.