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Optimism for U.S. Agriculture Boost Cropland Values in Eastern Kansas

Frontier Farm Credit and Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) are co-sponsoring a webinar series, Two Economists and a Lender. Our January installment featured Agriculture Economic Insights (AEI) co-founders David Widmar and Brent Gloy, Kirk Manker, chief appraiser and Ryan Wittler, product analyst. The webinar recording from January 20 is available. Explore upcoming webinars.

 
 

An already strong farm real estate market gained momentum in the last half of 2021, supported by improved profitability, historically low interest rates and greater demand for all types of agricultural land. Farmland values in eastern Kansas saw a double-digit increase at the end of 2021 compared to the previous year.

Frontier Farm Credit appraises seven benchmark farms in eastern Kansas every six months to identify trends in the farm real estate market. In 2021, the average value of the farms was up 13.4% compared to 2020. More than half that increase came in the final six months of the year.

A conflation of market forces contributed to strength in the real estate market. This included strong profits from high commodity prices, better-than-expected yields in several areas, government payments, historically low interest rates and increased demand from varying types of buyers, including investors.

Rising input costs for the 2022 production year are compressing margins somewhat, and interest rates are expected to tick up a bit. Tim Koch, chief credit officer at Frontier Farm Credit, said this isn’t expected to negatively impact land values in the foreseeable future. Most producers, he said, anticipate another profitable year thanks to continued price opportunities, and interest rates likely will remain low by historical standards.

“Optimism drives the real estate market,” Koch said, “and optimism for U.S. agriculture is high.”

The chart below compares land values in Kansas to those in neighboring states served by Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica). Both Frontier Farm Credit and FCSAmerica updated benchmark farmland values at the end of 2021.

State

Six Month

One Year

Five Year

Ten Year

Kansas (7)

7.6%

13.4%

10.7%

61.5%

Iowa (21)

25.1%

37.3%

45.3%

49.6%

Nebraska (18)

15.8%

22.1%

17.3%

47.6%

(The parentheses indicate the number of benchmark farms in each state tracked by FCSAmerica.)

Kansas January 2022 land values

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