Unlocking the Value of Iowa Farmland: A Comprehensive Guide to Current Land Prices and Expert Insights - May 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 Land Prices and Values May 2024 report

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.

In May 2024, Iowa’s farmland value experienced slight increases despite ongoing economic challenges. The state’s farmland price index rose marginally to 52.2 from 52.1 in April. However, the broader economic context for the rural areas, represented by Iowa’s Rural Mainstreet Index, remained below growth neutral for the ninth consecutive month, increasing slightly from 36.7 to 40.6​. 

Several key factors are influencing Iowa farmland values based on Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Economy Report:

  1. Interest Rates and Credit Conditions: Higher interest rates and tighter credit conditions are exerting downward pressure on farmland values. These factors have also contributed to a significant drop in the farm equipment sales index, which fell to 34.0 from 47.7 in April, marking the eleventh time in the past twelve months that this index has been below growth neutral​.
  2. Agricultural Commodity Prices: Weaker agricultural commodity prices are another critical factor affecting farmland values. Lower prices for crops like corn and soybeans reduce farm incomes, which in turn impacts the ability and willingness of farmers to invest in additional land​.
  3. Grain Storage Costs: Increasing grain storage costs are adding to the financial burdens faced by farmers, further influencing the overall economic environment and farmland values​.
  4. Employment and Hiring Trends: The new hiring index for the region decreased to 50.0 in May from 56.8 in April, indicating a slowdown in employment growth. Despite this, the Rural Mainstreet Economy has seen a 3.2% job increase over the past year, outperforming the 0.9% job growth in urban areas within the same states​.
  5. Exports of Agricultural Goods: On a positive note, exports of agricultural goods and livestock for 2024 have increased by 6.4% compared to the same period in 2023. This growth in exports supports farm incomes and can have a stabilizing effect on farmland values​.
  6. Regional Economic Conditions: The overall economic health of the 10-state region, which includes Iowa, has seen a decline with the index dropping to 44.2 from 45.8 in April. This broader regional economic decline reflects ongoing challenges in the agricultural sector and rural economies​.

Despite these challenges, the slight rise in Iowa’s farmland price index suggests a complex interplay of factors, with some areas showing resilience due to strong export growth and employment trends. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for stakeholders in Iowa’s agricultural economy.

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 May, a total of 2,779.78 acres of land was sold in Iowa by auction
  • The current average per acre price for land in Iowa according to May Auction sales is $11,395 per acre
  • The highest selling farm in Iowa in the month of May sold on the 15th in Boone County for $11,238 per acre.
    • This farm was sold by the auction method for a total of $5,552,808.18 and was 494.11 acres of farmland which has a soil score rating of 84 CSR2 calculating to be $181/CSR point on a 74% tillable farm in Central Iowa.
  • The highest dollars per acre farm in Iowa that sold in the month of May went to a 29.94 acre farm in Boone County, IA which sold for $16,032 per acre on May 15th, 2024 by auction.
  • See full results from all 27 tracts of farmland that sold in table at end of the page.
  • See how these averages compared to April 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.

In May 2024, Iowa farmers experienced significant planting delays due to unseasonably wet conditions and severe weather, including heavy rains, tornadoes, and more tornadoes. These adverse weather conditions limited fieldwork days and contributed to some counties moving out of extreme drought stages. By mid-May, approximately 78-88% of the expected corn crop had been planted, still lagging behind the five-year average and last year’s progress. Soybean planting was similarly delayed, with only 61-73% planted, falling behind typical schedules. However, oats performed better, with 91-95% of the crop emerged, ahead of the average pace. For more details, you can refer to the USDA’s Crop Progress and Condition reports here (Iowa Agriculture Gov)​​.

Despite planting delays caused by wet weather, farmland auctions in Iowa continued through May, with several acres slated for sale during the summer. We anticipate a resurgence in farmland auctions, particularly post-harvest, which traditionally marks the busiest period. Even if your fields are currently planted, don’t hesitate to consider a sale. The optimal time to sell farmland is when you’re prepared. We can structure your sale terms to accommodate cash rent income and possession, even if you have a tenant farming this season. Avoid waiting until after harvest when more acres will flood the market. Start the farmland selling process today; typically, auctions take about 60-90 days to complete.

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 May, the average price per tillable acre fell to $9,506.82. Comparatively, the average price per tillable acre was $12,222 in May 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 auctions average price per acre May 2024

May Iowa Auction Results: Increase in Acres Sold

The volume of acres sold in May showed a slight increase from last month. In May, 3,583.69 acres sold at auction. 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 volume by number of acres at auction may 2024 graph

May Iowa Auction Results: Average Price Per CSR2 Point

The price per CSR2 point decreased substantially from April to $162.88 CSR2 point in May. Comparatively, the price per CSR2 point was $168.91 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 auctions average price per csr2 point May 2024 (1)

Recently Sold Land in Iowa Price Results

05/03/24 Mitchell 153 7,900.00 71.1 142.16 120 1,208,700.00 92.92
05/06/24 Poweshiek 160 5,375.00 53.8 125.79 99 860,000.00 78.62
05/09/24 Wayne 80 8,200.00 50.9 70.7 182 656,000.00 88.38
05/09/24 Wayne 151.51 5,900.00 51.3 126.88 137 893,909.00 83.74
05/15/24 Henry 40 6,225.00 42.1 35 169 249,000.00 87.50
05/15/24 Palo Alto 38 13,400.00 83.6 35.53 171 509,200.00 93.50
05/15/24 Palo Alto 80 9,700.00 80.1 76.07 127 776,000.00 95.09
05/15/24 Boone 55.78 15,627.00 87.1 51.54 194 871,674.06 92.40
05/15/24 Boone 176.06 15,336.00 87.5 172.34 179 2,700,056.16 97.89
05/15/24 Boone 494.11 11,238.00 84 364.45 181 5,552,808.18 73.76
05/15/24 Boone 29.94 16,032.00 83.7 22.18 192 479,998.08 74.08
05/20/24 Harrison 77.52 14,800.00 68.8 77.35 216 1,147,296.00 99.78
05/20/24 Woodbury 114.65 8,150.00 49.4 111.65 169 934,397.50 97.38
05/23/24 Keokuk 121 10,400.00 78.5 100 160 1,258,400.00 82.64
05/23/24 Keokuk 37 13,750.00 87.1 34 172 508,750.00 91.89
05/23/24 Keokuk 97.5 13,100.00 73.9 97.5 177 1,277,250.00 100.00
05/23/24 Keokuk 41.5 7,850.00 58.2 36.18 155 325,775.00 87.18
05/24/24 Madison 160 10,600.00 79.7 147.59 144 1,696,000.00 92.24
05/29/24 Webster 80 14,800.00 70.9 79.06 211 1,184,000.00 98.83
05/30/24 O'Brien 76.9 16,000.00 98.4 75.2 166 1,230,400.00 97.79
05/30/24 O'Brien 80 14,600.00 94.2 76.65 162 1,168,000.00 95.81
05/31/24 Pocahontas 80.43 12,400.00 84.6 78.36 150 997,332.00 97.43
05/31/24 Pocahontas 80.52 10,300.00 84 77.11 128 829,356.00 95.77
05/31/24 Pocahontas 37.07 13,250.00 86.6 34.29 165 491,177.50 92.50
05/31/24 Pocahontas 79.29 8,650.00 60.6 77.46 146 685,858.50 97.69
05/31/24 Pocahontas 80 12,200.00 86.1 78.48 144 976,000.00 98.10
05/31/24 Pocahontas 78 11,900.00 84.1 75.14 147 928,200.00 96.33
Totals/Averages 2,779.78 11,395.67 74.83 2,478.66 161.59

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.