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View from the Cab: The downward slide

(CIFN file photo)

I always enjoy Farm Progress Show time – not only because some of the latest and greatest ag innovations are announced – but because we get a glimpse of farmland prices and cash rents.

The Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers released its mid-year survey last week which found that prices paid for Illinois farmland continued on a slightly downward trend. The survey indicated the statewide average price for excellent quality land dropped roughly $200 per acre to $10,522 from the start of the year. Prices for other land classes were estimated to be down less than $100 per acre respectively.

“In the first half of the year, the value of excellent quality farmland is down two percent and average quality land is down one percent,” said David Klein of Soy Capital Ag Services. “According to our member survey, prices being paid for good and fair quality land are very similar from the beginning of the year.”

Survey respondents indicated buyers of farmland were 65 percent farmers, 17 percent local investors, 9 percent non-local investors, 8 percent institutions and 1 percent were other buyers.

During the last half of 2018, most respondents expect farmland price decreases. Around 13 percent expect prices to remain the same, 60 percent anticipate a decrease between 1 and 5 percent and 27 percent expect farmland prices to drop between 6 and 10 percent.

The tariff talk has made its way into the survey this year. Almost 60 percent of respondents said the Chinese implementation of tariffs on U.S. agricultural products has already negatively impacted prices while 41 percent indicated it has not impacted prices. If the tariffs continue, all of the respondents believe farmland prices would fall.

ISPFMRA conducts the survey halfway through the year to evaluate trends in farmland prices and cash rents. The information supplements the group’s larger efforts at the end of the year to document farmland prices and cash rents across Illinois. This survey was conducted during the third week of July.

Sounds like several growers plan to head out to the field this week to begin the 2018 corn harvest as long as the weather cooperates. I am hearing yield and moisture numbers all over the place. We won’t truly get a feel for this crop until the combine is driving up and down the corn rows and the yield monitor is displaying numbers. Good luck to everyone and stay safe out there!

(The View from the Cab blog is powered by Petersen Chevy-Buick in Fairbury)

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