County cash rent data from the USDA shows moderate increases in rental rates between 2017-2020. Pasture rent increased 4.0 percent on average, dryland rent increased 1.0 percent, and rent on irrigated land increased 1.4 percent on average. The moderate increases in cropland rents are reflective of the stabilization and improvement of farm income since 2017.
For pasture ground, the increases might be due larger cattle numbers and greater competition for pasture. Nebraska’s beef cow inventory in 2019 and 2020 exceeded that of a few years ago. The statewide averages, though, obscure variability at the county level. For example, Buffalo, Sherman, and Greeley Counties had increases in rents on dryland of 17 percent between 2017-2020. However, Clay County experienced a decline in dryland rent of 11 percent. So, while the statewide averages for rent showed moderate growth, local market condition vary considerable across the state. For maps and more information on cash rents go to: https://conta.cc/3hvpykn.