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Iowa land prices rise at record pace

DANIEL LOOKER 12/14/2011 @ 10:03am Business Editor

The growth in land values jumped at a record pace of 32.5% in the past year, according to the Iowa Land Value Survey conducted by Iowa State University in November.

ISU economist Mike Duffy, who conducts the survey every year, called the growth remarkable. The average land value of $6,708 an acre is an all-time high, he said.

That average is far below prices recently paid in some areas of the state, including $20,000 for a parcel in northwest Iowa.

Farmers are able to make that work in part because they're paying cash, Duffy told Agriculture.com

"A young person that has to borrow a normal amount of money, they could never do it," he says "If you had to borrow 20% or more, it wouldn't pay."

In Duffy's survey, Scott County Iowa in the eastern end of the state had the highest increase in value, 37.7%, to an estimated average value for all farmland at $9,223 an acre. The highest average county value was $9,512 an acre in O'Brien County.

The average for high grade land in Iowa was $8,198 an acre.

   

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