The statewide value of an acre of farmland is now estimated to be $7,432, according to an annual survey conducted by Iowa State University. That value represents an increase of 2.3%, or $168, since 2018, says Dr. Wendong Zhang who conducts the annual Iowa Land Values Survey. The $7,432 per acre estimate, and 2.3% increase in value, represents a statewide average of low-, medium-, and high-quality farmland.
Eighty-two of Iowa's 99 counties reported higher land values, he says. Scott and Decatur counties reported the highest and lowest values, respectively. Decatur County reported a value of $3,586 per acre, a gain of $97, or 2.8%. Scott County reported a value of $10,837 per acre, a gain of $300, or 2.8%.
Eight of nine crop reporting districts reported higher land values. Only the Northeast district reported a decline in land values (a loss of 2.9%). The losses in the Northeast district are due mainly to financial stress in the dairy sector, he notes.
Low-quality land statewide now averages $4,759 per acre, a 3.3%, or $150 per acre, increase; medium-quality land now averages $6,938 per acre, an increase of 2.0%, or $133 per acre; and, high-quality land now averages $9,078 per acre, an increase of 2.4% or $215 per acre.
Favorable interest rates, limited land supply and strong yields were the most frequently noted positive factors influencing land values. The most commonly cited negative factors influencing land values were lower commodity prices, the weather and tariffs on agricultural commodities, he says.