The University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Cornhusker Economics has recently published their review of the 2015 trends in Nebraska farmland values and rental rates.
For the first time in recent years, overall Nebraska farmland values decreased by approximately 3%, or a valuation of $3,210 per acre. More specifically, the statewide numbers show:
- Dryland cropland with irrigation potential declined the most, at 10%, for a valuation of $4,740 per acre
- Dryland cropland with no irrigation potential declined 9%, for a valuation of $3,385 per acre
- Gravity irrigated cropland decreased 4%, for a valuation of $7,005
- Center pivot irrigated cropland decreased 2%, for a valuation of $7,495
Unsurprisingly, pastures and cow-calf pair rental rates increased about 15% across the state due to higher cattle prices and drought assistance via the Livestock Forage Disaster Program. Interestingly:
- The big mover is hayland, up 20%, for a valuation of $2,350
- Tillable grazing land is up 7%, for a valuation of $1,490 per acre
- Nontillable grazing land is up 12%, for a valuation of $970 per acre
Rental rates reflect the above changes in valuation. Cropland rental rates are down across the state, with two exceptions: dryland cropland in central Nebraska (increase of 5%) and center pivot cropland in northeast Nebraska (increase of 1%). Pasture rental rates are up, ranigng from $85 in the northeast to $11 in the northwest. Both central and southwest Nebraska are up 34% ($40 and $27 respectively).
Rental rates for cow-calf pairs tracks the grazing land numbers. Average dollar per pair is $60, up 40%.
More information is available in the article but, all things considered, the valuation decrease does not erase the gains made in previous years. Moreover, the increase in the cattle market is directly responsible for the increase in pasture and cow-calf pairs.
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