Owning farmland has always been a priority for farmers, but interest in this real asset by investors has grown in the past year.
Farmers National Company has released its January land values report indicating that land values are expected to hold steady in Iowa.
“Prices for top quality cropland sold at our auctions are up $1,000 per acre or more since before harvest,” said David Whitaker, area sales manager for Farmers National Company. “Demand for good farmland has definitely increased.”
Despite the challenges faced by agriculture and producers in 2020, the farmland market remained stable throughout the year and strengthened in the last quarter. Iowa agriculture especially endured economic challenges with interruptions to livestock deliveries, the derecho storm, lower ethanol demand and a late season drought across much of the state.
“Government payments, crop insurance, low interest rates and rising grain prices sustained farmers’ interest in buying land especially in the fall time frame. Add in the growing number of investors who want to own farmland and you have a strong demand driven land market,” Whitaker said.
Public auctions are a common means of selling farmland in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. COVID-19 restrictions changed how farms were sold during the year depending on the time and the rules.
“We are fortunate at Farmers National to have the most complete toolbox of auction and sales methods of anyone to sell land. This includes all variations of online auctions. Our agents and auctioneers were able to pivot on a dime when needed to bring about a successful sale for our clients no matter how we had to perform the sale,” Whitaker said.
Farmers National Company’s land sales volume was up 49% during October and November compared to last year despite there remaining a normal-to-lower supply of land for sale in the overall market. Looking ahead, Whitaker said, “Investor interest and farmer demand will continue to drive the land market in 2021 and I expect we will see strong prices as we start the year.”