Indiana farmland prices hit record high in 2021

Purdue University's annual survey finds record high farmland values.
Purdue University's annual survey finds record high farmland values.
(Farm Journal)

The price of Indiana farmland pegs a record high this summer, according to the annual Purdue Farmland Value and Cash Rents Survey. Statewide, top-quality farmland averaged $9,785 per acre, up 14.1% from the same time last year. The high growth rate for top-quality farmland was closely followed by the growth in average- and poor-quality farmland prices, which increased by 12.5% (to $8,144) and 12.1% (to $6,441), respectively. Across all land quality classes, 2021 per-acre farmland prices exceeded the previous records set in 2014.

“A unique combination of economic forces, including net farm income, expected income growth, crop and livestock prices, interest rates, exports, inflation, alternative investments, U.S. policy, and farmers’ liquidity, all played a major factor in the price increase we’re experiencing,” states Todd H. Kuethe, Purdue associate professor and survey author.

That’s rare, he says.

“Normally we’ll see positive price pressure from one or two market forces; however, this June, survey respondents indicated that all 10 forces we asked them about were putting upward pressure on land values,” he notes.

Statewide cash rental rates increased across all land quality classes in 2021. Average rental rates increased by 3.9% for top-quality land, from $259 to $269 per acre. The cash rental rates for average- and poor-quality lands both increased by 4.6% to $227 and $183, respectively. At the regional level, the largest rental rate increases for top- and average-quality land were both in the southeast region (11.5% and 6.4%), and the largest rental rate increases for poor-quality land were in the north region (5.5%). Across all three land-quality classes, the highest per-acre cash rent was observed in the west central region.

Rent as a share of June land value decreased slightly in 2021, suggesting cash rental rates appreciated slower than farmland prices. Some portion of the difference in appreciation rates between farmland values and cash rents may reflect changes in expectations between fall 2020, when 2021 rents were negotiated, and the 2021 growing season.

The department of agricultural economics conducts the Purdue Farmland Value and Cash Rent Survey each June. The survey is produced through the cooperation of numerous professionals knowledgeable of Indiana’s farmland market. These professionals provided an estimate of the market value for bare- poor-, average-, and top-quality farmland in last December and June, and a forecast value for this coming December.


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