The average cash rent negotiated for 2020 for Iowa cropland rose $3, 1.4%, to $222 an acre, according to the annual survey conducted by Iowa State University. The rise marks only the second annual increase since the statewide average cash rent peaked in 2013 at $270 an acre. This year’s figure matches the average posted in 2018 – the only other year the survey lists an increase in the state’s average cash rent since the 2013 peak.
For the sixth year in a row, crop district 3 marks the highest average cash rent – $248 an acre. This year’s district-wide average is $11, nearly 5%, higher than 2019’s $237 average. Crop district 3 covers northeast Iowa and includes Black Hawk, Bremer and Delaware Counties. Next highest is crop district 1 at $239 an acre, which is up $8, 3.5%, from the previous year. As usual, crop district 8 sports the lowest average rent at $176 an acre. That average is up $2, 1.1%, from both 2018 and 2019.
Dubuque county reports the highest average cash rent at $289 an acre. That is followed by the $276 average listed by Delaware County. Sioux County follows with an average of $273 an acre and then is Cherokee County at $271 an acre. Crop district 3 lists six counties reporting a cash rent high of $340 to $390 an acre. However, Sioux Count reports a cash rent high of $400 an acre while Cherokee sports a high of $360 an acre.