The changing dynamics of farmland real estate prices

What farmers need to know about the surge in land values driven by agricultural shifts and global demand for corn- and soy-based fuel.

Amid shifting crop patterns, the landscape of farmland real estate prices is undergoing a significant surge, driven by strategic changes in agricultural cultivation. According to Randy Dickhut, a farmland sales specialist with Agricultural Economic Insights, the run-up in farmland prices coincides with the ethanol mandate enacted in the late 2000s.

“Before the ethanol mandate came about, there wasn’t that difference,” Dickhut explains. “But when that happened, the price of corn and soybeans took a jump leading into that 2010 to 2013-2014 real run-up in farm incomes and land prices.

He mentions that while land prices in the Upper Plains have seen significant increases in recent years, the Upper Midwest remains the leader. “China, add that one into overall demand for a crop, with demand for soybeans and then later, corn more so, the demand for those two crops raised that price level,” Dickhut states.

As crop patterns evolve and global demand for key commodities stays robust, farmland prices are poised for further shifts, which could impact agricultural economies nationwide.

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