This analysis is provided by Michael J. Krause AFM
For the fourth consecutive year, the all-land average across the entire State of Nebraska averaged about 4 percent lower than the prior year. However, it appears the Nebraska real estate market rate of decline has slowed from prior years. The biggest concerns in the market value of land currently will depend on the length of time tariffs are in place, suppressed crop prices and the State’s extremely high property tax policies.
In the western regions of Nebraska, including the Northwest, North, Central and Southwest Districts, these areas averaged around 5 to 10 percent lower for the all-land average. The Northeast, East, South and Southwest Districts fell 1 to 3 percent.
Good-quality land is holding steady, while lower quality land values are definitely softer and more variable. It is important to point out Nebraska has diverse land resource characteristics and agricultural patterns. As an example, precipitation in Nebraska decreases on average an inch every 25 miles as one travels west. Therefore, the importance of irrigation in the western two-thirds of the State is very critical and water use restrictions greatly affect the land values.
High-quality pivot irrigated land in eastern Nebraska averages over $9,500, while in the western panhandle region, it averages about $3,000. Center pivot Irrigated cropland across the State has declined 3 percent. The highest rate of decline for gravity and center pivot irrigated cropland ranging from 5 to 9 percent reported in the Northwest, Central and Southeast Districts. These regions are noted as having fairly restrictive water appropriations for irrigation.
The dryland cropland ranges from $7,000 in the east to $670 in the west. Dryland cropland on average reported a lower rate of decline in the market value of land than irrigated cropland, grazing land or hay land. Declines averaged between 2 to 5 percent depending upon the District. Dryland cropland without and with irrigation potential reported averages of $3,100 and $4,115 per acre.
Grazing land including tillable and non-tillable, along with hay land have declined between 6 to 7 percent. Grazing land tillable or non-tillable reported per acre averages of $1,250 and $835 along with hay land at $1,710. The Central and East Districts reported the highest rates of decline at 10 to 11 percent with the deprived incentives for cropland development.