Panhandle farmland values steady in 2014, prelim results show
By Jessica Johnson
UNL Panhandle Extension Educator
For the first time since 2010 the average farmland value increase in the Panhandle was reported in the single digits, according to preliminary results of the annual Nebraska Farm Real Estate Survey released in March.
The results reveal that in 2014, farmland values increased across the state by an average of 5 percent to $3,195 per acre. However, the average farmland value increased 8 percent in the Panhandle to $770 per acre.
Steady land values
Several factors have contributed to rising land values in recent years, including record high farm income, low interest rates, expanding operations and limited land being sold. Even though some of these factors are still in play, the downturn in commodity prices lead to more modest increases in Panhandle farmland values in 2014.
One interesting result of the preliminary findings was the 29-percent increase in dryland cropland value in the Panhandle to $900 per acre. This is the largest value increase of this class of land in the Panhandle since the start of the survey in 1984. Other parts of the state also saw significant increases in this land class, giving it the largest statewide value increase for tillable land of 8 percent over 2013.
Non-tillable grazing land increased 4 percent in the Panhandle to $385 per acre, the lowest reported increase of this land class in any district of the state. The statewide average value of non-tillable grazing land is $750 per acre which is an increase of 8 percent.
Statewide the value of gravity-irrigated cropland increased 4 percent to $7,155 per acre. However, reports for the Panhandle show a 1-percent decline in the value of this land class to $2,835 per acre.
Center-pivot-irrigated cropland in the Panhandle saw the highest percentage increase in the state from 2013 to 2014 at 19 percent to $3,700 per acre. The average statewide value for this land class is $7,705 per acre.
For the following classes, an insufficient number of reports was available to release a preliminary value: dryland cropland with irrigation potential, tillable grazing land and hayland.
Cash rental rates
Cash rental rates were also reported in the preliminary results. Panhandle dryland cropland saw no increase in rental rate over 2013, remaining at $40 per acre. The reports show that dryland rental rates range from $30 to $60 per acre.
Gravity-irrigated cropland reported an average cash rate of $145 per acre, with a range from $90 to $190 per acre in the Panhandle.
Reported center-pivot cash rates decreased 11 percent from 2013 to an average of $200 per acre. Most crop reporting districts in the state also reported a decrease in rents for center pivot irrigated land. Reported center pivot rental rates range from $150 to $240 per acre in the Panhandle.
There were an insufficient number of reports to provide preliminary pasture and cow-calf rental rates.
To see the full “2013-2014 Preliminary Findings” report visit http://agecon.unl.edu/realestate.html