Unlocking the Value of Iowa Farmland: A Comprehensive Guide to Current Land Prices and Expert Insights - January 2024 Report

Welcome to Our Monthly Iowa Farmland Value Report

In this monthly report, we dive into Iowa farmland values, helping you understand the factors that determine what your farm is potentially worth. Our goal as auctioneers and farmland real estate agents is to provide you with up-to-date information, recent sales data, expert insights, and tips for maximizing the potential value of your farmland sale. Let us answer the questions you have about selling farmland in Iowa. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Iowa Recent Farmland Sales January 2024

Understanding Iowa Farmland Values:

Factors Influencing Farmland Values in Iowa

Iowa’s agricultural landscape is influenced by a multitude of factors. In this blog, we will explore how commodity prices, interest rates, government policies, and regional conditions impact the current market values.

By the time we’ve written our January report, we are well into February and you can feel Spring in the air here in the Midwest.  We had a mostly mild winter with the exception of January which set snowfall records in Iowa and put us well ahead of Minnesota and the Dakotas for snowfall. The additional moisture won’t hurt a thing this Spring as only 5.23% of Iowa is unaffected by drought at this time.  94.76% of the state is in some level of drought designation with 56.37% of the state in Severe Drought and 18.58% of the state in Extreme Drought.  Iowa has 2,419,513 acres affected by drought.

Ag news lately has focused a lot on the Farm Bill.  Congress typically passes a new Farm Bill every 5 years.  The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 expired September 30, 2023, but was extended for a year expecting a new bill could be passed in 2024.  Some don’t see a new bill happening in 2024 and so far no progress has been made.  Tackling crop insurance issues is a top priority but this year’s bill has requests for other things such as ag research, international pesticide challenges, mechanization, and new technology.  Including additional crops in the crop insurance program has been a goal of Congress but finding the funding for these things seems to be their main blockage to getting a new bill moving.  With 2024 being a Presidential election year will that help or hurt the chances of getting the bill passed in 2024?  I guess we’ll see but each new bill seems to get more complicated and more difficult to find agreement.

Recent Farmland Sales Data

Let’s dive into the latest sales data, including county location, land size by acre amount, soil productivity ratings, and sale prices per acre and total price in the table below. By analyzing this data, you can get a clearer picture of how your property may be valued in the current market.


Current Average Price Per Acre of Farmland in Iowa

  • In the month of January, a total of 4551.67 acres of land was sold in Iowa by auction
  • The current average per acre price for land in Iowa according to January Auction sales is $11,598.07 per acre
  • The highest selling farm in Iowa in the month of January 2024 sold on January 10th in Boone County for $17,800 per acre.
    • This farm was sold by the auction method and was 154.76 acres of farmland which has a soil score rating of 83.6 CSR2 calculating to be $213/CSR point on a 99.94% tillable farm in Northwest Iowa.
  • See full results from all 43 tracts of farmland that sold in table at end of the page.
  • See how these averages compared to December and a year ago below in next section below to see trend line history.
Jason J Smith

Jason J Smith

Auctioneer & Land Broker

Jason is an experienced farmland broker and auctioneer with extensive experience in farmland sales across this Midwest.  Jason has worked with hundreds of clients to create advantageous outcomes.  If you are selling land schedule a consultation with Jason by calling or using the calendar.

Phone: 515-537-6633

Market Trends and Future Projections:

Each month we like discuss current trends in Iowa farmland sales, highlighting patterns, emerging opportunities, and potential challenges.

The monthly Rural Mainstreet Report provides a thorough analysis of the overall farm economy. In the January report, the following summary was highlighted.

  • For a fifth straight month, the overall Rural Mainstreet Index sank below growth neutral.
  • Farmland prices experienced growth during the month, marking a significant trend. Notably, the farmland price index has not dipped below growth neutral since November 2019.
  • Factors such as increased borrowing costs, stricter credit conditions, and declining grain prices have contributed to the farm equipment sales index falling below growth neutral for the seventh time in the last eight months.
  • According to projections from bank CEOs, a substantial portion of farmers transitioning within the next decade, approximately 53.8%, are expected to transfer ownership to heirs. Additionally, 42.3% anticipate selling to other farmers within the region.
  • Economic confidence has persisted at notably low levels, reflecting ongoing challenges in the economic landscape.

The Rural Mainstreet Report conducts a state-by-state analysis, and its findings for Iowa in December are noteworthy. In January, the Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) for the state saw a decrease, dropping to 44.3 from 45.5 recorded in December. Similarly, Iowa’s farmland price index experienced a decline, falling to 61.4 in January compared to December’s 64.0. Conversely, Iowa’s new hiring index for January showed an increase, rising to 45.1 from 46.9 the previous month.

Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that over the past 12 months, the state’s Rural Mainstreet economy witnessed employment expansion of 1.1%. In contrast, urban areas within the state exhibited slower employment growth, with an increase of only 0.3%.


Current Farmland Prices in Iowa: A 12-Month Overview

Explore the accompanying graph to gain insights into the average farmland prices in Iowa over the past year. In January, the average price per tillable acre dropped to $12,321.40. Comparatively, the average price per tillable acre was $12,627.82 in January 2023. If you’re contemplating selling your farm, feel free to reach out to us for an expert opinion on its current market value.

Iowa Farmland Average Price Per Acre

January Iowa Auction Results: Average Price Per CSR2 Point

The price per CSR2 point has seen a slight decline from November, dropping to $177.47 CSR2 point. Comparatively, the price per CSR2 point was $168.64 a year ago. This metric plays a crucial role in determining the overall value of your farm. If you’re unsure about your farm’s CSR2 soil rating, don’t hesitate to contact us for a soil map and evaluation, especially if you’re considering selling land in Iowa.

Iowa Farmland Average Price Per CSR2

January Iowa Auction Results: Decline in Acres Sold

The volume of acres sold in January dropped notably from last month. In January, 4551.67 acres sold at auction, which is the lowest it has been since May of last year. However, as they say, what goes down must come up. If you’re contemplating selling, now is an opportune time to connect with us and delve into the details of the process. Initiate the process today by completing this form, and one of our experienced auctioneers or land brokers will reach out to you promptly!

Iowa Farmland Sales # of Acres

Future Predictions for Farmland Values

Here you will gain insights into the future of Iowa’s farmland market with our expert forecasts. Understand what to expect in the coming months and years. 

The land market across Iowa has remained stable through the Winter and as we move from 2023 to 2024 I expect that same stability to persist absent any significant changes.  The market continues to grapple with the same issues we have been for some time now, higher interest rates, lower commodity prices and drought conditions.  Core inflation has come down from a high of 5.6 in March 2023 to 3.9 in December 2023Most analysts believe interest rates will begin a decline in 2024 and that will be a positive change for farmland sellers.  Drought and disaster has less impact on the market and actually tend to prop the market up with crop insurance payments.  You can look back to land price results in 2011 to 2013 to see that phenomenon at play.  Obviously commodity prices have a direct impact on land prices when low prices persist for longer periods.  If we move through 2024 without much improvement I’d expect in another 12 months we’ll see that impact prices and put more pressure on them.  If we see an improvement in commodity prices in 2024 were not likely to notice much impact from it.  We are not as low as we were in May of 2020 where prices hovered around $3.18 but the following year in 2021 at the same time we were up to $7.34 only to top that the next Spring in 2022 at a top price of $8.13 and land prices soared!  As I type today we sit around $4.42 on the low side of the middle of the figures so for everybody we’ll be rooting for up rather than down.  There are so many factors that affect commodity prices it would take many more pages to consider them all but I am confident that one of the biggest factors will be the South American crops estimations and actual yields that play a strong role in our prices here in the US.

Navigating the Selling Process:

Tips for Selling Your Farm in Iowa

Explore a set of practical tips for successfully selling your farmland by downloading our free eBooks here. Schedule a non obligatory consultation with us today and we will cover everything from when is the best time to sell, a customized marketing plan, sales methods, how we can help you find the right buyer, and answer your questions.

Farm Real Estate Experts in Iowa

Meet our team of Iowa farm real estate and auction experts who can provide you with valuable guidance and personalized assistance throughout the selling process. If you’re looking to uncover the true value of your Iowa farm or are considering selling, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team. We’re here to provide you with a customized plan to meet your goals. Contact us today to get started.

Assessing Your Farm’s Worth:

Iowa Land Market Analysis Appraisal Technique

Curious what your farm could sell for? We prepare market analysis for each of our farmland sellers to help you discover and learn what your farm is worth from our market based research and expertise. Fill out our form here to request a market analysis of your Iowa farmland.

Recently Sold Land in Iowa Price Results 

County Total Acres $/Acre Tillable Acres Tillable CSR2 $/Tillable CSR2 Total Price Date Sold
Sioux 30 $22,600.00 27.9 78.6 $309.00 $678,000.00 1/3/24
Cherokee 40 $16,025.00 37.15 83 $208.00 $641,000.00 1/4/24
Fremont 22 $7,400.00 18 73.8 $123.00 $162,800.00 1/4/24
Fremont 125.6 $8,250.00 105 74.4 $133.00 $1,036,200.00 1/4/24
Madison 152 $7,250.00 140.5 57.7 $136.00 $1,102,000.00 1/6/24
Madison 157 $5,750.00 46.4 48.8 - $902,750.00 1/6/24
Plymouth 80 $10,300.00 62.44 74 - $824,000.00 1/8/24
Boone 154.76 $17,800.00 154.85 83.6 $213.00 $2,754,728.00 1/10/24
Story 44.18 $18,200.00 43.22 76.6 $243.00 $804,076.00 1/10/24
Story 36.69 $18,700.00 31.8 82.8 $261.00 $686,103.00 1/10/24
Pottawattamie 122.97 $13,300.00 119.19 66.3 $207.00 $1,635,501.00 1/11/24
Jasper 162.64 $5,700.00 133.47 51.6 $135.00 $927,048.00 1/16/24
Adair 165.9 $6,400.00 153 61.4 $113.00 $1,061,760.00 1/16/24
Adair 38.41 $4,900.00 6.54 49.2 - $188,209.00 1/16/24
O'Brien 80 $17,300.00 75.84 96.8 $189.00 $1,384,000.00 1/16/24
Jasper 66.5 $8,200.00 56.74 72.1 $133.00 $545,300.00 1/16/24
Monona 106.59 $17,500.00 106.59 80.5 $217.00 $1,865,325.00 1/17/24
Monona 106.25 $8,000.00 106.23 56.9 $141.00 $850,000.00 1/17/24
Monona 156 $13,600.00 141.6 43.1 $348.00 $2,121,600.00 1/17/24
Monona 238 $7,100.00 200 50.1 $169.00 $1,689,800.00 1/17/24
Jefferson 107.08 $5,200.00 50.34 54.2 - $556,816.00 1/18/24
Calhoun 138.05 $14,100.00 135.11 86.6 $166.00 $1,946,505.00 1/19/24
Calhoun 24.48 $10,400.00 24.82 82.7 $124.00 $254,592.00 1/19/24
Sac 183.8 $11,600.00 156.85 72.7 $187.00 $2,132,080.00 1/19/24
Cass 240.02 $6,750.00 223.93 54.2 $133.00 $1,620,135.00 1/20/24
Crawford 129.12 $8,000.00 108.14 74.9 $128.00 $1,032,960.00 1/20/24
Jefferson 50 $6,700.00 8.78 - - $335,000.00 1/22/24
Boone 24.23 $15,600.00 24.22 88.2 $177.00 $377,988.00 1/23/24
Jasper 73.84 $18,060.00 73.84 87 $208.00 $1,333,550.40 1/24/24
Jasper 74.3 $14,910.00 73.09 75 $202.00 $1,107,813.00 1/24/24
Jasper 72.66 $6,615.00 57.77 64.9 $128.00 $480,645.90 1/24/24
Jasper 25.12 $11,865.00 22.05 75 $180.00 $298,048.80 1/24/24
O'Brien 75.93 $17,500.00 72.09 94.6 $195.00 $1,328,775.00 1/24/24
Worth 160 $8,109.00 157.59 60.4 $136.00 $1,297,440.00 1/24/24
Greene 170.38 $13,950.00 165.33 86.7 $166.00 $2,376,801.00 1/25/24
Decatur 120 $11,400.00 118.06 69.7 $166.00 $1,368,000.00 1/25/24
Story 71.07 $9,000.00 67.16 72.4 $132.00 $639,630.00 1/26/24
Crawford 127.17 $9,150.00 104.85 78.6 $141.00 $1,163,605.50 1/27/24
Winnebago 70 $15,800.00 70.67 85.2 $184.00 $1,106,000.00 1/30/24
Hancock 75 $15,200.00 75.09 81.6 $186.00 $1,140,000.00 1/30/24
Clarke 148.9 $12,300.00 141.11 67.6 $192.00 $1,831,470.00 1/31/24
Clarke 154.7 $7,900.00 126.29 56.1 $172.00 $1,222,130.00 1/31/24
Guthrie 150.33 $14,333.00 150.33 87.8 $163.00 $2,154,679.89 1/31/24
STATEWIDE AVERAGES 105.85 $11,598.07 92.42 71.84 $177.47 $1,138,717.80
STATEWIDE TOTALS 4551.67 3973.97 $48,964,865.49