Economic Tidbits

Land Value Hits Record High

Nebraska’s average farm real estate value rose 13 percent between 2022 and 2023, reaching a record high of $4,240 per acre (including the value of buildings) according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The increase comes on the tails of a 21 percent increase in 2022 and a 11 percent increase the year prior (Figure 5). The USDA is not the only entity reporting higher land values. A University of Nebraska survey in February of last year found land values were up 14 percent. And data from the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank showed land values during the third quarter were up 5.5 percent for non-irrigated cropland, 9.8 percent on irrigated ground, and 12.6 percent for rangeland compared to 2021. The spike in farmland values over the past two years is the sharpest seen since the early 2010s. Stronger farm income combined with fewer tracts for sale have contributed to the rising values. However, lower returns, higher interest rates, and the lingering drought should weigh on the market moving forward.

FIGURE 5. NEBRASKA AVERAGE FARM REAL ESTATE VALUE ($/ACRE)

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics 

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