Iowa farmland values set another record high this year, but buyers are showing more caution as tumbling crop prices eat away at farm profitability, Iowa State University Extension farm economist Mike Duffy said last week.

The average value of Iowa farmland value is estimated at $8,716 per acre, an increase of 5.1 percent from 2012, according to ISU’s annual land value survey. It was the fourth consecutive increase, but only the second time in the past decade that values didn’t rise at least 10 percent.

“What we’re seeing now is a market that is looking for itself,” said Duffy, who has coordinated the survey since 1986. “We hear strong sales, and we hear no sales. The key question is if this shows the market is going to settle, if it is just pausing before another takeoff in values or if the market has peaked and due for a correction.”

Most of the gains came in the early part of the year before corn and soybean prices started falling...