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Iowa farmland values slump after sharp drop in crop prices

Iowa farmland values fell 8.9 percent in 2014, the biggest drop since 1986, as lower corn and soybean prices reduce farm income, according to an annual Iowa State University (ISU) survey.
However, the steep drop doesn’t mean the bottom is dropping out of the market similar to what happened during the 1980s farm crisis, said long-time Iowa Land Value Survey coordinator Mike Duffy.
“I know that is something a number of people are worried about,” said Duffy, a retired ISU economics professor. “The 8.9 percent isn’t good, but we’re 18 percent higher than two years ago and 80 percent higher than five years ago, so there’s still a lot of strength in this market.”
The average Iowa farmland value is now $7,943 per acre, according to the survey of real estate brokers and others knowledgeable about land market conditions.
Farmland values dropped in eight of the nine Iowa crop reporting districts. ...



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