Statewide Iowa Farmland Prices in 2023 Annual Report

Dec 21, 2022 | Iowa Farm Real Estate, Iowa Farmland Prices, Iowa Farmland Report, Price of Farmland in Iowa

2022 – 2023 Iowa Farmland Prices

It’s the end of 2022 as I type this and Iowa State University has just released the figures for their Iowa Land Value Survey which is conducted each year as a survey of stakeholders in the land industry.  We have always been honored to contribute to this report and hope you will find the results useful.  Incredibly, farmland prices appreciated an estimated 17% over the year. Following last years 29% increase.  This is incredible and certainly the fasted appreciation of farmland prices I have seen in my nearly 20 years of serving farmland sellers as a career.  My career in farm real estate happened to fall at a time agriculture was really transitioning in many ways. The number of farmers has declined, and the average farm size has increased. Bigger and more sophisticated farming operations have driven smaller operations out.  While many ask how it can continue – we tend to ignore the white elephant in the room. Federally subsidized crop insurance and specifically the Agricultural Risk Protection Act (ARPA) in 2000 has significantly mitigated the risk of farming and it has impacted the current farm economy we live in.

Iowa Land Value Survey

I always preface this information with the idea that it is derived from a survey and not actual farmland price or auction results.  You will find differences in these numbers as the numbers we present, since we are presenting values multiple different ways. Some of the following numbers include values derived from actual auction results which you can find on our Current Iowa Farmland Prices page and from the survey.  Furthermore, the numbers and values presented here are averages, they work for just that too.  On a statewide basis for a general picture you’ll see its probably as good of a system as you can have outside of actual results.  An experienced eye might use the pattern of results year over year to time investment, divestment, or to gain an understanding of the current farm economy.  It’s always important to note that each farm is unique and to really drill down on the value of your own farmland. A trained professional can best apply the human knowledge and judgement necessary to arrive at the most accurate estimation.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

Auctioneer, Land Broker, Founder

Jason holds Auctioneer or Land Broker licenses in Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  His DreamDirt team is comprised of auctioneers, land brokers, and realtors. They specialize in farmland sales primarily serving the heirs to family farms all across Iowa and surrounding states. We offer risk-free selling experiences and work hard to maximize the value of our client's assets using highly effective auction methods, technology, and powerful advertising.

Email: Jason@dreamdirt.com | Phone: (515) 537-6633

iowa land value chart
iowa farmland prices by region 2023
Average Price of Farmland In Iowa 2022-2023
County Name 2022 $/Acre 2021 $/Acre $ Change % Change 2022-23 County Name 2022 $/Acre 2021 $/Acre $ Change % Change 2022-23
Adair County $8599 $7159 $1441 20.1% Jefferson County $7821 $7045 $775 11.0%
Adams County $7380 $6276 $1105 17.6% Johnson County $12535 $11118 $1693 16.4%
Allamakee $8719 $7338 $1381 18.8% Jones County $11991 $10298 $1693 11.4%
Appanoose $5626 $5116 $510 10% Keokuk County $9135 $8197 $938 11.4%
Audubon $12301 $10194 $2106 20.7% Kossuth County $13562 $11308 $2254 19.9%
Benton County $12673 $10911 $1762 16.1% Lee County $9391 $8499 $892 10.5%
Black Hawk $13591 $11757 $1384 15.6% Linn County $13330 $11560 $1770 15.3%
Boone County $13088 $11177 $1834 17.1% Louisa County $10970 $9724 $1246 12.8%
Bremer County $13069 $11251 $1818 16.2% Lucas County $10970 $9724 $1246 12.8%
Buchanan $12673 $10930 $1743 15.9% Lyon County $15557 $12905 $2652 20.6%
Buena Vista $14709 $12222 $2487 20.3% Madison County $9282 $7839 $1443 18.4%
Butler County $12106 $10422 $1684 16.2% Mahaska County $9461 $8522 $939 11.0%
Calhoun County $14059 $11897 $2162 18.2% Marion County $9580 $8669 $911 10.5%
Carroll County $13682 $11,394 $2288 20.1% Marshall County $11728 $10174 $1554 15.3%
Cass County $10530 $8691 $1839 21.2% Mills County $10900 $8966 $1934 21.6%
Cedar County $12779 $11187 $1592 14.2% Mitchell County $11975 $10422 $1553 14.9%
Cerro Cordo $11868 $10177 $1691 16.6% Monona County $10887 $9033 $1854 20.5%
Cherokee $14140 $11730 $2410 20.5% Monroe County $7170 $6484 $686 10.6%
Chickasaw $11627 $10003 $1624 16.2% Montgomery $9099 $7484 $1615 21.6%
Clarke County $6354 $5739 $615 10.7% Muscatine $11698 $10258 $1440 14.0%
Clay County $13943 $11586 $2357 20.3% O'Brien County $16531 $13713 $2818 20.6%
Clayton County $10589 $8911 $1677 18.8% Osceola County $14360 $11911 $2448 20.6%
Clinton County $11886 $10221 $1666 16.3% Page County $8296 $6824 $1472 21.6%
Crawford $13060 $10835 $2225 20.5% Palo Alto $13448 $11195 $2253 20.1%
Dallas County $13060 $10835 $2225 20.5% Plymouth $14965 $12416 $2549 20.5%
Davis County $6967 $6302 $665 10.6% Pocahontas $13961 $11686 $2275 19.5%
Decatur County $5566 $5062 $505 10.0% Polk County $11947 $10373 $1574 15.2%
Delaware County $13614 $11572 $2042 17.6% Pottawattamie $12145 $10019 $2127 21.2%
Des Moines $10071 $9073 $998 11.0% Poweshiek $10884 $9593 $1290 13.5%
Dickinson County $13334 $11061 $2273 20.6% Ringgold $6541 $5745 $796 13.9%
Dubuque $12351 $10425 $1926 18.5% Sac County $14397 $11987 $2410 20.1%
Emmet $13454 $11180 $2274 20.3% Scott County $15968 $13852 $2117 15.3%
Fayette County $12730 $10833 $1897 17.5% Shelby County $12372 $10237 $2135 20.9%
Floyd County $11394 $9916 $1477 14.9% Sioux County $16516 $13701 $2815 20.5%
Franklin County $12331 $10406 $1925 18.5% Story County $13442 $11487 $1955 17.0%
Fremont County $9904 $8147 $1758 21.6% Tama County $11791 $10194 $1597 157%
Greene County $12536 $10603 $1933 18.2% Taylor County $6776 $5756 $1020 17.7%
Grundy County $13649 $11724 $1925 16.4% Union County $7416 $6510 $906 13.9%
Guthrie County $11056 $9226 $1829 19.8% Van Buren $7455 $6745 $710 10.5%
Hamilton County $13949 $11821 $2128 18.0% Wapello $7687 $6939 $764 11.0%
Hancock County $12291 $10390 $1901 18.3% Warren County $10193 $9021 $1172 13.0%
Hardin County $12931 $10960 $1972 18.0% Washington $11515 $10332 $1183 11.4%
Harrison County $11557 $96540 $1997 20.9% Wayne County $5943 $5405 $539 10.0%
Henry County $9290 $8369 $920 11.0% Webster County $13368 $11323 $2045 18.1%
Howard County $10659 $9168 $1491 16.3% Winnebago $11577 $9786 $1791 18.3%
Humboldt County $13691 $11506 $2186 19.0% Winneshiek $11127 $9467 $1660 17.5%
Ida County $13512 $11,218 $2302 20.5% Woodbury $11230 $9318 $1912 20.5%
Iowa County $10959 $9648 $1311 13.6% Worth County $11182 $9587 $1595 16.6%
Jackson County $11100 $9449 $1651 17.5% Wright County $13720 $11535 $2185 18.9%
Jasper County $11147 $9889 $1258 12.7%

Iowa Farmland Values and County by County Rankings

Rankings can be an interesting view of Iowa farmland values.  When you are investing in Iowa farmland, understanding the rankings of each county with price rank versus quality rank and dollars per quality can contribute to your purchase decisions and which market you may target.  Coupled with local farmland rental averages and rent per CSR2 can certainly help you identify key areas and markets for investing in Iowa farmland.  Additionally, you can find rental data on our DollarsAndDirt for all 99 Counties in Iowa.

Ranking Iowa Farmland Prices

I always find this view to be fascinating and it helps settle some of the noise.  This chart really tells a story about the value of CSR and can evidence some of the discrepancy we see.  If you were to ask most people, “where is the most expensive farmland in Iowa?” They would come up with an answer somewhere in Northwest, Iowa or maybe Scott County.  Truth be told in this year’s survey the top three most expensive counties in Iowa are #1 Jackson at $252.27 per CSR2 point, #2 Dubuque County at $251.04 per CSR2 point and #3 Clayton County at $241.21 per point.  The 3 most expensive counties based on soil quality all have average CSR2 ratings below 50.  The most expensive farmland is in those three counties.  Scott County comes in 5th place and Northwest, Iowa doesn’t even show up until you see Lyon County in 7th place.  What was the cheapest farmland in Iowa?  I guarantee you most people will answer Decatur County. Well known for coming in last place in dollars per acre every year. However, Decatur doesn’t deserve its reputation and is coming in at 83rd place at $138.61 per CSR2 point. While Taylor County is in last place #99 at $115.83 per CSR2 point.

Highest Farmland Per Acre in Iowa

Rank based on dollars per acre puts Scott County in first place at $16,968 per acre and Decatur County in last place at $5,566 per acre.  With the exception of Scott, northwest Iowa takes up the next 15 of 16 top spots in the 2022-2023 Iowa land value survey.  The average price per acre is over $10,000 per acre in 74 of 99 Counties.  Fremont County is the first county in the ranking to be below $10,000 per acre average.  The bottom 25 counties have an average land value below $10,000 per acre and with the exception of Allamakee County in 83rd place 24 of the 25 counties are south of Interstate 80 in Iowa.  None of this is surprising to me, but it does help put some numbers to help you envision the market better.

Below is a table with a quick glance you can find rankings based on value of Iowa farmland.

County in Iowa Average County CSR2 Rank In CSR2 Price Per Acre of Farmland Rank $ Per Acre $/CSR2 Rank $ CSR
Adair County 64 66 $8,599.00 84 $134.36 89
Adams County 61.1 77 $7,380.00 90 $120.79 94
Allamakee County 40.8 98 $8,719.00 83 $213.70 5
Appanoose County 46.7 93 $5,626.00 98 $120.47 95
Audubon County 69.3 53 $12,301.00 41 $177.50 29
Benton County 78.9 19 $12,673.00 34 $160.62 60
Black Hawk County 73.9 40 $13,591.00 19 $183.91 19
Boone County 75.5 33 $13,088.00 28 $173.35 41
Bremer County 75.5 33 $13,069.00 29 $173.10 42
Buchanan County 75.8 31 $12,673.00 34 $167.19 52
Buena Vista County 83.4 5 $14,709.00 6 $176.37 31
Butler County 74.6 37 $12,106.00 44 $162.28 59
Calhoun County 82.2 7 $14,059.00 10 $171.03 46
Carroll County 76.5 30 $13,682.00 16 $178.85 25
Cass County 69.5 52 $10,530.00 72 $151.51 74
Cedar County 76.9 27 $12,779.00 32 $166.18 55
Cerro Gordo County 74.6 37 $11,868.00 50 $159.09 64
Cherokee County 82.2 7 $14,140.00 9 $172.02 44
Chickasaw County 77.2 23 $11,627.00 54 $150.61 75
Clarke County 47.2 92 $6,354.00 95 $134.62 88
Clay County 79.9 13 $13,943.00 13 $174.51 37
Clayton County 43.9 96 $10,589.00 71 $241.21 3
Clinton County 63 70 $11,886.00 49 $188.67 15
Crawford County 68.6 54 $13,060.00 30 $190.38 13
Dallas County 76.6 29 $11,957.00 47 $156.10 67
Davis County 46.7 93 $6,967.00 92 $149.19 77
Decatur County 40.1 99 $5,566.00 99 $138.80 83
Delaware County 65.1 63 $13,614.00 18 $209.12 6
Des Moines County 67 62 $10,071.00 74 $150.31 76
Dickinson County 79.9 13 $13,334.00 26 $166.88 53
Dubuque County 49.2 89 $12,351.00 39 $251.04 2
Emmet County 77.2 23 $13,454.00 22 $174.27 38
Fayette County 68.2 57 $12,730.00 33 $186.66 17
Floyd County 79.5 15 $11,394.00 58 $143.32 82
Franklin County 79.4 17 $12,331.00 40 $155.30 68
Fremont County 72.1 45 $9,904.00 75 $137.36 86
Greene County 78.3 21 $12,536.00 36 $160.10 63
Grundy County 86.9 2 $13,649.00 17 $157.07 66
Guthrie County 61.4 74 $11,056.00 64 $180.07 23
Hamilton County 79.1 18 $13,949.00 12 $176.35 32
Hancock County 74.6 37 $12,291.00 42 $164.76 56
Hardin County 79.5 15 $12,931.00 31 $162.65 58
Harrison County 61.2 76 $11,557.00 56 $188.84 14
Henry County 63.8 67 $9,290.00 79 $145.61 80
Howard County 76.9 27 $10,659.00 70 $138.61 85
Humboldt County 80.3 11 $13,691.00 15 $170.50 47
Ida County 77.1 25 $13,512.00 21 $175.25 34
Iowa County 62.5 72 $10,959.00 66 $175.34 33
Jackson County 44 95 $11,100.00 63 $252.27 1
Jasper County 68.5 55 $11,147.00 61 $162.73 57
Jefferson County 61 78 $7,821.00 86 $128.21 93
Johnson County 65 64 $12,535.00 37 $192.85 11
Jones County 62.2 73 $11,991.00 45 $192.78 12
Keokuk County 63 70 $9,135.00 81 $145.00 81
Kossuth County 78.2 22 $13,562.00 20 $173.43 40
Lee County 52.3 86 $9,391.00 78 $179.56 24
Linn County 68.1 59 $13,330.00 27 $195.74 9
Louisa County 63.7 68 $10,970.00 65 $172.21 43
Lucas County 43.8 97 $5,872.00 97 $134.06 90
Lyon County 75.1 35 $15,557.00 4 $207.15 7
Madison County 60.8 79 $9,282.00 80 $152.66 70
Mahaska County 68.2 57 $9,461.00 77 $138.72 84
Marion County 59.7 80 $9,580.00 76 $160.47 61
Marshall County 75.7 32 $11,728.00 52 $154.93 69
Mills County 71.8 46 $10,900.00 67 $151.81 72
Mitchell County 80.9 10 $11,975.00 46 $148.02 79
Monona County 59.1 82 $10,887.00 68 $184.21 18
Monroe County 48.3 91 $7,170.00 91 $148.45 78
Montegomery County 70.3 49 $9,099.00 82 $129.43 92
Muscatine County 64.9 65 $11,698.00 53 $180.25 22
O'Brien County 91.4 1 $16,531.00 2 $180.86 21
Osceola County 86.3 3 $14,360.00 8 $166.40 54
Page County 70.6 48 $8,296.00 85 $117.51 96
Palo Alto County 77 26 $13,448.00 23 $174.65 35
Plymouth County 73.5 42 $14,965.00 5 $203.61 8
Pocahontas County 81.2 9 $13,961.00 11 $171.93 45
Polk County 70.7 47 $11,947.00 48 $168.98 49
Pottawattamie County 68.4 56 $12,145.00 43 $177.56 28
Poweshiek County 67.9 61 $10,884.00 69 $160.29 62
Ringgold County 50.2 88 $6,541.00 94 $130.30 91
Sac County 82.8 6 $14,397.00 7 $173.88 39
Scott County 72.4 44 $16,968.00 1 $234.36 4
Shelby County 69.9 51 $12,372.00 38 $177.00 30
Sioux County 85.3 4 $16,516.00 3 $193.62 10
Story County 80.2 12 $13,442.00 24 $167.61 51
Tama County 70.3 49 $11,791.00 51 $167.72 50
Taylor County 58.5 83 $6,776.00 93 $115.83 99
Union County 63.2 69 $7,416.00 89 $117.34 97
Van Buren County 49 90 $7,455.00 88 $152.14 71
Wapello County 56.6 85 $7,687.00 87 $135.81 87
Warren County 57.3 84 $10,193.00 73 $177.89 27
Washington County 68 60 $11,515.00 57 $169.34 48
Wayne County 50.7 87 $5,943.00 96 $117.22 98
Webster County 75.1 35 $13,368.00 25 $178.00 26
Winnebago County 72.9 43 $11,577.00 55 $158.81 65
Winneshiek County 59.2 81 $11,127.00 62 $187.96 16
Woodbury County 61.4 74 $11,230.00 59 $182.90 20
Worth County 73.8 41 $11,182.00 60 $151.52 73
Wright County 78.6 20 $13,720.00 14 $174.55 36

Farmland Prices in Iowa by Region

Again, northwest Iowa tops the chart with the highest average farmland price per acre in Iowa at $17,121 per acre for high quality land and $9,569 per acre for low quality land.  The lowest region was south central Iowa which came in at $9,487 per acre for high quality farmland and $6,824 for low quality farmland.  Interesting to note that high quality land in south central Iowa was valued at less than low quality land in Northwest Iowa.  Statewide, the average for high quality land was $13,817 per acre while the Iowa statewide average for an acre of low quality land was $11,411 per acre.  The chart below shows the average price of different quality land across the 9 different regions of Iowa.
Iowa Farmland Region High Quality Land Value Moderate Quality Land Value Low Quality Land Value Region Average Price per Acre of Farmland Farmland Price Change2021 to2022
Northwest Iowa $17,121 $13,710 $9,569 $14,878 +22.3%
North Central $14,271 $11,171 $7,849 $12,449 +16.7%
Northeast Iowa $13,806 $11,122 $8,047 $11,627 +16.8%
West Central Iowa $14,821 $11,654 $8,161 $12,411 +18.6%
Central Iowa $14,720 $11,527 $7,927 $12,582 +17.1%
East Central Iowa $15,097 $11,876 $8,441 $12,595 +14%
Southwest Iowa $11,419 $8,769 $6,081 $9,264 +22.2%
South Central Iowa $9,478 $6,872 $4,379 $6,824 +13.1%
Southeast Iowa $12,829 $8,667 $5,406 $9,276 +9.8%
Statewide Average $13,817 $10,673 $7,369 $11,411 +17%

Selling Farmland in 2023

I know there is a good chance you are reading this and wanting the crystal ball reading.  No such crystal ball exists but I wish I had one.  What will farmland prices in Iowa do in 2023?  I can either play is safe and offer a few non-committal remarks or share my genuine thoughts which may be wrong.  I’ll share my real thoughts here and take it for what it’s worth.  I like to follow the Rural Mainstreet Economy Reports by Ernie Goss and the Economic Trends blog.  I think there are signs of stress in the near future and I think I’m right when I predict farmland prices will plateau or decline slightly when next year’s report is released.  Right now, going into 2023, I think there is still momentum in the market and enough demand to achieve top of the market prices but I fully expect as the year progresses, we will see that demand pressured by interest rates and operating costs.

November 2022 Rural Mainstreet Report Bullet Points

• The overall index fell below growth neutral for the sixth straight month.
• Economic confidence index plummeted to its lowest level since May 2020.
• Approximately 30.4% of bank CEOs recommend that the Fed cease raising rates.
• Despite the weaker rural outlook, only 13.6% indicated that their bank had increased financial commitments on farm loans.
• For the 26th straight month, the farmland price index climbed above 50.0.
• Approximately, 60.9% of bank CEOs expect farmland prices to plateau at current prices, while 21.7% expect prices to decline over the period.

2023 Commodity Price Outlook Effect on Farmland Values

Now, what is typically the driving factor in farmland values? Commodity prices look reasonable into 2023 and not likely to pressure land prices.  In 2022 we saw a peak corn price of $8.18 on April 29th and low of $5.64 on July 22nd.  Today the Continuous Contract sits between them at $6.52 with widespread expectations of a price around $6.15.  Obviously the Ukraine Russia conflict contributed to 2022 corn prices but in November a diplomatic agreement was reached to allow Ukraine maritime food exports to continue for another 4 months but that was put into question quickly again contributing to a rally in the markets for US product. Global drought has helped to put US grains in a better position. The supply and demand dynamics have dictated a pretty decent position for US Farmers and that may be the very element that prevents a decline. I don’t believe it supports additional appreciation by year end.  Now, that is not to say we won’t experience some in the earlier part of the year, but my instinct says if that is the case we are likely to wipe it out by year end.

auction set up

Summary

It’s neither gloom and doom nor rainbows and sunshine when it comes to farmland prices for 2023.  I think it’s set to be a less eventful year that given all outside factors is likely to run sideways.  I don’t expect near constant headlines of farmland price records.  Finally, that’s actually good news for sellers, we’re more likely to stay where we are for some time opening the window of opportunity for you to sell farmland at or near the market high.

If you intend to sell farmland in 2023, we can help you.  Contact us to learn more about opportunities available and learn about our services to help you sell farmland.  You can call us at 641-423-6400 or email Jason@dreamdirt.com

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Whether you’re ready to start the selling process, or even remotely curious, we will gladly provide you with a FREE Market Analysis! If you are in a position to sell land in the Midwest, we want to help you achieve the top of the market on your sale.

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