2018 Iowa State University Land Value Survey: Overview
Farmland represents over 80 percent of all U.S. farm assets, and is arguably often a farmer’s single largest investment item, a major source of collateral, and a key component of the farmer’s debt portfolio. Since 1950, the Iowa State University Land Value Survey has been the only data source that provides a county-level land value estimate for each of the 99 counties in Iowa. The 2018 Iowa State University Land Value Survey reported a 0.8 percent decrease to $7,264 per acre in average Iowa farmland values from November 2017 to November 2018. This modest drop is the fourth decline in Iowa farmland values over the past five years and represents a 17 percent decline from the 2013 peak in nominal land values, or a 24 percent drop in inflation-adjusted values. The recent decline is largely attributable to lower commodity prices, higher interest rates, and to some extent the trade disruptions. On the other hand, the magnitude of this decline is still very modest and overall the land market is largely stable. In general, the results from the 2018 Iowa State University Land Value Survey echo results from other surveys, which all showed relatively stable farmland market trends.