Land prices keep pace with inflation surge

PLATTSMOUTH -- The average for Nebraska agricultural land values has increased by 6 percent over the last year, according to the findings from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s 2021 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey. This is the second year of increase after four consecutive years of decline.

Land values rose a twice the U.S. inflation rate of 2.4 percent, but are closer to the pace of the consumer price index for the Midwest Region. The consumer price index was up 5.8 percent from a year ago, after energy prices jumped 26 percent and food prices went up 2.6 percent.

Cass County is one of the southern counties forming the southern line in the “East” district in the survey. That district extends to Washington County on the north and west to Nance, Merrick and Hamilton counties.

 The average farmland value in this district increased 5 percent to $6,850 per acre.

 In the Southeast district starting with Otoe County on the north to the state line with Kansas, the dryland value was up 8 percent to $5,235.

 The East district has the highest average farmland values, the Southeast is third behind the Northeast ($5,765).

 The highest gain percentagewise was in the Southeast district at 8 percent. 

 The statewide all-land average value for the year ending Feb. 1 averaged $2,895 per acre. Land values in the state peaked at $3,315 per acre in 2014, said the report.

 Land industry professionals responding to the annual survey attributed the rise in Nebraska farm real estate values to current interest rate levels, crop prices, and COVID-19 disaster assistance payments provided to operators across the state.

 Dryland cropland without irrigation potential reported an increase of about 7 percent.

 Survey participants noted higher crop prices as a major force leading to higher cropland values across the state.

Land values and rental rates presented in the report are averages of survey participants' responses by district. Actual land values and rental rates may vary depending upon the quality of the parcel and local market for an area.

Story by Steve Warga of Cassgram