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Iowa land rents shoot up

05/16/2011 @ 2:52pm

The average cash rent for corn and soybean ground in Iowa increased 16% from 2010 to 2011. This year, the average cash rent is $214 per acre, $30 higher than last year.

Those estimated figures are from the annual Iowa State University (ISU) Extension rental rate survey. They represent the largest one-year increase since the survey was initiated in 1994.

“The intent of the Iowa State survey is to report typical rents in force, not the highest or lowest values heard through informal sources,” says William Edwards, extension economist.

The estimated rental values were derived by asking over 3,000 people familiar with the land market what they thought were typical rates for high-, medium- and low-quality row-crop land in their county. Responses were received from 1,567 respondents. Thirty-three percent of the responses came from farmers and 24% came from landowners. Professional farm managers accounted for 22% of the responses and lenders accounted for 14%. The remaining 7% came from other professionals.

“For most counties the lower end of the range was about the same as in 2010,” says Edwards, “but the high end of the range was as much as $50 to $100 an acre above last year.”

September 1 is the date for terminating rental agreements in Iowa. “Individual farm rents that were set before the September 1, 2010, termination deadline probably changed very little,” says Edwards, “while rents that were negotiated later likely reflected the higher corn and soybean prices being offered then.”

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