The Iowa farmland market continues a downward trend that started in spring 2013. The trend turned a little sideways, with a slight uptick, early this winter. The strongest values within the market continue to be for high-quality farms (those with excellent soils and drainage), as well as for farms located adjacent to strong farmland owners. When it comes to farmland for sale, “who the neighbors are” can significantly influence the sale price.
Many farms harvested record-high corn and soybean yields in 2016. The high yields, a little recovery in commodity prices and the ARC-County farm program payments have helped buffer lower commodity prices.
While farmland sales activity is less than the past couple of years, it has increased postharvest with an increase in purchasing interest particularly from nonfarming landowners and investment buyers. This is in reaction to a search for solid investments, low interest rates and a general belief that farmland is a tangible asset and sound investment.
Record-low interest rates for financing farmland, “underdeployed cash,” a lack of farmland offered for sale and record-high yields all support farmland market prices. These positive factors are countered by interest rates that are beginning to increase.
Potential buyers would like to buy farmland at prices they expect may be reached next year, while sellers wish they could sell for prices available two years ago.
Osceola County: Northwest of Melvin, 80 acres sold at public auction for $12,200 per acre. The farm has 77.13 gently sloping crop acres and a 98 CSR2. Primary soils are Primghar, Marcus and Galva. The farm PLC corn yield is 144 and the soybean yield is 45.
Worth and Mitchell counties: Along the county line, a total of 185.25 acres sold as a single parcel at an attorney sealed bid auction (40 acres in Worth, 145.25 acres in Mitchell). The farm has 175.4 crop acres and an average 86.8 CSR2. It sold for $8,300 per acre to an investment buyer.
Black Hawk County: Northeast of Waterloo, 113.54 acres sold for $8,347 per acre. The farm has 108.15 crop acres and an 88.8 CSR2. The seller is an estate; the buyer is a local farmer.
Ida County: Southeast of Holstein, 160 acres sold for $10,100 per acre. The farm has 157.46 crop acres with an 84.2 CSR2, which equals $111 per CSR2 point per tillable acre.
Hardin County: Southeast of Hubbard, 236 acres sold in two parcels at auction. Parcel 1 is 116 acres and sold for $8,400 per acre. It has 115 crop acres with a 78.7 CSR2, or $108 per CSR2 point per tillable acre. Parcel 2 is 120 acres and sold for $8,650 per acre. It has 119 crop acres with a 78.5 CSR2, or $111 per CSR2 point per tillable acre.
Scott County: East of Eldridge, 162 acres sold for $8,450 per acre at public auction. The farm has 145.1 crop acres with a 78.8 CSR2. The farm includes a machine shed and grain bin. The buyer is a local farmer.
Taylor County: Located in Benton Township, 229.48 acres sold for $2,354 per acre. The farm has 98.97 bottomland crop acres with a 48 CSR2 and 127.75 acres of timber.
Clarke County: Northwest of Osceola, 144.8 acres sold for $2,470 per gross acre. The farm has a CSR2 of 27. The farm has heavy timber with some open pasture.
Henry County: South of Swedesburg, 80 acres sold for $9,050 per acre. The farm has 78.75 acres of cropland with an 85 CSR2. The farm has 12.41 acres of the cropland in a CRP contract and includes a large machine shed.
Hertz Real Estate Services compiled this list, but not all sales were handled by Hertz. Call Hertz at 515-382-1500 or 800-593-5263, or visit hertz.ag.