Farmland values across the central Corn Belt showed signs of stabilizing in the first quarter of 2018, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Its quarterly quarterly survey of ag bankers found farmland values across its district were unchanged from a year ago and rose 1% from the fourth quarter of 2017. The bank covers the northern two-thirds of Illinois and Indiana, all of Iowa, southeastern Wisconsin and the lower peninsula of Michigan.
The bank notes the amount of farmland for sale in the three- to six-month period ending with March 2018 was slightly higher than in the same period ending with March 2017. Yet, the demand to purchase agricultural land, the number of farms sold and the amount of acreage sold were slightly lower during the winter and early spring of 2018 compared with a year ago. More of the responding bankers expected district farmland values would decrease rather than increase during the second quarter of 2018; but three-fourths of them expected agricultural land values to be stable. Additionally, cash rental rates for district farmland decreased again in 2018; however, their year-over-year decline of 5% was smaller than the decline recorded for 2017.