Iowa Farmland Prices Decreases 0.2% According To Fall Realtor “Survey”

Sep 24, 2019 | Farmland Prices

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

Auctioneer, Land Broker, Founder

Jason is an Auctioneer and Land Broker in Iowa and the surrounding states.  The DreamDirt team of auctioneers, land brokers, and realtors specialize in farmland sales primarily serving the heirs to family farms all across Iowa and some surrounding states.  Today's report details Iowa's current land market for land sold at auctions.

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The Realtors Land Institute Releases Results Of September Survey

Realtors Land Institute Iowa Farmland Prices SurveyThe most recent survey from the Realtors Land Institute in Iowa shows that statewide farmland prices shed a mere 0.2% of their value over the last 6 months. 

First, it is important to understand the Realtors Land Institute. This survey is generated by the Iowa Chapter, which is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® and is organized for REALTORS® who specialize in farm and land sales, management, development and appraisal.

The survey, is comprised of multiple facets. Participants in the survey are specialists in farmland and are asked for their opinions about the current status of the Iowa farmland market. Participants were asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of September 1, 2019. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were also requested as supplemental information. More specifically, the results  are based on a “survey” of members and not necessarily based on actual sale results.

The report very typically tracks in line with other reports on Iowa farmland prices and is released twice a year in March and September. For actual sale results as they happen, you can always visit for up-to-date land sale reports.


Iowa Cropland Value Results

According to the results of these surveys, the statewide average of cropland values increased by 0.8% for the March 2019 to September 2019 period. Combining this increase with the 1.0% decrease reported in March 2019 indicates a statewide average decrease of 0.2% from September 1, 2018 to September 1, 2019. Crop reporting districts showed variability regarding the average farmland value. The districts varied from 1.8% increase in the North Central and East Central districts to a 1.2% decrease in the Northwest district since March 2019.

Major factors supporting to current farmland values continue to include limited amount of land on the market, government compensation (MFP Payment) and low interest rates. Negative factors include trade uncertainty, decreasing levels of working capital, variability in yields for the 2019 crop year, and weather patterns.

In summation, there are a few conclusions that can be drawn from this survey. The first being that land values are holding steady as sales indicate localized volatility based on quality. As previously stated, there is still limited amounts of land on the market; however, the volume is starting to increase. Yet, at the present, there seems to be no apparent saturation. Second, farmers still remain the primary buyers. Investors are buying, but also have alternative investment options. Lastly, recreational buyers are still active.

Download the Fall 2019 Realtor Land Institute Land Value Survey 

Realtors Land Institute September 2019 Survey Results On Iowa Farmland Prices

Here are the results of the September 2019 Farmland Values survey alongside the results of the last report which was released in March 2019. You’ll notice the variations in farmland price appreciation from region to region in this chart. You should keep in mind as you compare your own farm to averages: values vary based on many factors. Getting a professional market analysis before selling your farm is the best path forward for every land seller. 

  Iowa Farmland Prices September 2019 High Quality Cropland Medium Quality Cropland Low Quality Cropland Non – Tillable Pasture Per Acre

Timber Per Acre

PERCENT Change 6 Months 

September March September March September March September March September March
Central Iowa Farmland Prices $9,773 $9,595 $7,057 $7,100








East Central Iowa Farmland Prices












North Central Iowa Farmland Prices












Northeast Iowa Farmland Prices












Northwest Iowa Farmland Prices












South Central Iowa Farmland Prices












Southeast Iowa Farmland Prices












Southwest Iowa Farmland Prices  $7,861











West Central Iowa Farmland Prices








$2, 822



State of Iowa Farmland Prices  $9,239  $9,163  $6,861  $6,781  $4,448  $4,449  $2,831  $2,806  $2,509



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