Soaring Land Prices

Missouri farmland costs at record high

A University of Missouri survey of farmland values in July 2012 shows record-high values for cropland, pasture, timberland and recreational ground in Missouri. Low interest rates and high commodity prices continue to push the per-acre land values to new levels. In turn, the land values and high commodity prices are driving cash rents higher.

MU Extension agribusiness specialist Karisha Devlin showed northeastern Missouri agriculture lenders results of the annual MU study at a Dec. 3 seminar at Fiddlestiks restaurant in Hannibal. The MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources sponsors a statewide series of agriculture lender seminars in cooperation with regional MU Extension specialists.

“Cash rents are expected to remain steady in 2013 for above-average crop and pasture ground. Prices for poor ground are expected to decrease slightly,” Devlin said.

Devlin cited information from MU Extension’s Cash Rental Rates guide and from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS).

USDA/NASS estimates are used by the Farm Service Agency in administering USDA programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program and in decision-making by other lenders, landowners and tenants.

About 240,000 farms and ranches across the U.S. are contacted for their total acres operated and acres rented for cash for various land categories.

According to the USDA/NASS survey, cash rent for all Missouri cropland increased by $5 per acre to $110 in 2012. The biggest jump was in irrigated cropland, which rose from $148 per acre in 2011 to $164 per acre in 2012. Pasture ground jumped from $25.50 per acre in 2011 to $28 per acre in 2012.

The USDA/NASS survey provides detail of rent costs per county and state and can be found at