Ag Land Going Up
By Christine Tew
Ag lenders, rural appraisers and farmers who participated in the 2019 Missouri Farmland Values Opinion Survey estimated that the value of good cropland; good pastureland; and timber, hunting and recreational land in the state increased on average from 2018 to 2019.
The survey, conducted in August 2019 by the University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service, was distributed to ag lenders, rural appraisers and farmers. Participants were asked to estimate values for three classes of cropland and pasture as of July 2019 (good, average, poor), as well as irrigated cropland, timberland with valuable trees, and hunting/ recreation land.
Participants “estimated Missouri timber, hunting and recreational land values to have increased by 12 percent on average between July 2018 and July 2019. For that same one-year period, the respondents reported that the value of good pastureland in Missouri had increased by 9 percent on average compared with 4 percent growth in the value of good Missouri cropland,” according to program staff.
The survey report shared that:
• The value of good non-irrigated cropland at $5,421 per acre, up $204 or 4 percent above last year. The average statewide value reported for irrigated cropland was $6,148, up $634 from last year.
• Good pastureland was estimated to have a statewide average value of $3,174 per acre, up $259 or 9 percent above 2018 estimates.
• Timberland was up $224 to $2,310 per acre.
• Hunting/ recreation land was up $301 to $2,456 per acre.
The report notes that in Missouri, land sales prices are not required to be reported to any governmental or public agency, thus requiring participants to share their opinions through estimates. The survey resulted in 124 completed questionnaires, three-quarters of which were returned by ag lenders. Farmers accounted for 13 percent of the respondents.
According to a staff summary of the report, “Survey participants estimated that Missouri cropland values wouldn’t change between July 2019 and July 2020, and they projected Missouri pastureland and timber, hunting and recreational land to increase in value by one percent on average from July 2019 to July 2020.”
The survey also explored who is buyingland in Missouri, finding that “survey respondents thought that 62 percent of farmland buyers were planning to farm the land themselves; 27 percent were planning to rent out the land; 10 percent were planning to use it for non-farming purposes.”
Land being considered for residential or commercial development, or in tracts of less than 40 acres, is excluded from the value estimates for the purposes of this opinion survey.
To review the full report, visit the University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service online at extension.missouri.edu, or find it on the Missouri Soybean website at mosoy.org.
The University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service contributed to this piece. Photo courtesy of MU CAFNR