The average cash rent in Iowa for 2018 rose $3 an acre, 1.4%, to $222, according to Iowa State University's annual survey The slight boost reverses the four-year decline in average cash rents, following their peak in 2013 at $270 an acre. This year's average of $222 represents an 18% retreat from the record high.
The northeast crop district reported the highest average cash rent at $244 an acre. That is up $3, 1.2%, from a year earlier. The south-central district, as usual, listed the lowest average cash rent at $174 an acre. That is down $6, 3.3% from 2017. Grundy County listed the highest average county cash rent at $290 an acre. Sioux County followed with an average of $269 an acre with Dubuque County at $267, Osceola at $266, Delaware County at $264 and Tama County at $263. Clarke County reported the lowest average county cash rent at $126 an acre.
Two counties, Dubuque and Plymouth, reported a cash rent as high as $400 an acre for high-quality cropland. However, Plymouth also reported a cash rent as low as $175 an acre for the same quality of land. Its average cash rent for high-quality cropland was $273 and its countywide average cash rent for all qualities of cropland was $235. In Dubuque County, the lowest cash rent reported for high-quality land was $275 and its countywide average for high-quality ground was $319. Its 2018 countywide average cash rent for all qualities of cropland was $267.