Orchard and specialty crop farmland outlook
Orchards, vineyards and irrigated land in the western U.S. have seen big increases in land values in recent years—land values have doubled in some regions since 2006—because of strong market prices and growing export demand, according to the report.
For example, California’s Tulare County farmland devoted to grapes sold for $9,500 per acre in 2006 but rose to $19,000 per acre by 2012, according to the report. California’s Ventura County strawberry land rose in value from $60,000 per acre in 2006 to $71,500 per acre in 2012. California’s Monterey County row crop land rose in value from $31,000 per acre in 2006 to $40,000 per acre in 2012. California’s Fresno pistachio acreage rose in value from $11,500 per acre in 2006, to $29,000 per acre in 2012.
California orchards with good yielding almond trees can sell from $18,000 to $25,000 per acres, according to the report. A rise in interest rates of 1.5 percent could reduce the value of almond orchards by $1,800 per acre, according to the report. If interest rates were to rise by 3 percent, the value of the land could fall as much as $5,000 acres, Crowder said in the report that rising interest rates will be the main factor in any decline in the value of farmland, but a rising value of the dollar could suppress exports.
Increases in land values were expected to be modest in California in 2013 and 2014 because of drought conditions in some regions and reduced surface water deliveries.
Florida land values have come under pressure because of citrus greening disease and import competition in the vegetable sector, according to the report.