2014 Iowa farmland rental rates decrease moderately

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Rental rates for Iowa farmland decreased moderately in 2014, according to results from a survey carried out by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. This is the first decrease shown by the annual survey since 1999, according to William Edwards, retired Extension economist who directs the survey.

“The average estimated cash rent for corn and soybean land in the state for 2014 was $260 per acre, a decrease of $10 per acre or nearly 4% from last year,” said Edwards. “Significantly lower crop prices for the 2013 crop and lower price forecasts for this year’s crop have tempered farmers’ optimism about prospective profits.”

The cash rental rates survey results are available in the ISU Extension and Outreach publication Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2014 Survey. The publication details average rents in the nine Iowa crop reporting districts. The cash rental rate information presented in this publication is the result of a survey of farmers, landowners, lenders, real estate brokers, and professional farm managers. They supplied information based on their best judgments about typical cash rental rates for high, medium, and low quality cropland in their counties, as well as for land devoted to production of hay, oats, and pasture.

“Average rents were lower in all nine crop reporting districts except for the southeast district, which showed no change,” Edwards said.  “The largest decrease was in north central Iowa, $24 per acre, where a wet spring last year reduced yields and prevented some acres from being planted. Grundy County had the highest average rent in the state, $330 per acre.”

Typical rental rates per bushel of corn yield, soybean yield and CSR point are computed for each county and displayed as a chart in the publication. Also included are the typical charges for land growing oats and hay, for grazing pasture and corn stalks, and for renting hunting rights.

Information about rents for individual farms was not collected. The rental rates summarized in the publication do not reflect the value of any buildings or storage structures, manure application contracts, or seed production contracts.

The Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2014 Survey is available online as a downloadable document from the Extension Online Store at store.extension.iastate.edu and Ag Decision Maker website. Other resources available for estimating a fair cash rental rate include the Ag Decision Maker information files Computing a Cropland Cash Rental Rate (C2-20) , Computing a Pasture Rental Rate (C2-23), and Flexible Farm Lease Agreements (C2-21). All documents include decision file electronic worksheets to help analyze leasing questions.

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