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

Welcome to Our Monthly Nebraska Farmland Value Report

In this monthly report, Jason Smith, Nebraska Land Broker and Auctioneer dives into Nebraska 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 Nebraska. Contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach us by phone at 402-739-8696.

Nebraska Farmland Monthly Value Report February 2024
Jason J Smith, Auctioneer

Jason J Smith, Auctioneer


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.

Understanding Nebraska Farmland Values:

Factors Influencing Farmland Values in Nebraska

Nebraska’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.

According to Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) Survey, in February, the Nebraska RMI dropped to 34.4 from January’s 39.5. The state’s farmland price index also saw a decline, falling to 53.1 from 60.0 in January. Additionally, Nebraska’s new-hiring index for February slumped to 44.2 compared to 45.5 in January. According to trade data from the International Trade Association, exports of agricultural goods and livestock for 2023 totaled $0.87 billion, marking a significant decrease of 35.5% from the $1.35 billion recorded in 2022.

The 2022 Census of Agriculture, recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reveals that Nebraska’s farming landscape is characterized by a trend of fewer but larger farms. Over the five-year period from 2017 to 2022, the state witnessed a decrease of almost 1,900 farms, representing a 4% decline, while the remaining farms expanded in size by an average of approximately 18 acres. Despite this consolidation, the total farm acres decreased by over 1 million to 44 million, marking a 2% drop. Nonetheless, agricultural land remains predominant in Nebraska, accounting for 89.4% of the state’s total land area, significantly exceeding the national average. In Lancaster County, the number of farms saw a slight decrease of less than 1%, while the total farmland area experienced a decline of nearly 4%. These findings reflect a long-standing trend towards larger farms in the region, consistent with previous years’ observations.


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.

Average Price of Farmland in Nebraska

• In the month of February, a total of 5,632.46 acres were sold in Nebraska from auction sales data.

• The current average per acre price for land in Nebraska according to these February sales is $5,883 dollars per acre which has increased from last month’s $4,686 per acre.

• The highest selling farm in Nebraska in the month of February 2024 sold on February 7th in Butler County for $2,282,240 or $14,264 per acre for 160 acres, with an NCCPI of 66.4.

• The same sale on February 7th in Butler County also happens to be the farm with the highest selling price per acre in the month of February.

Farmland Auction Results in Nebraska February 2024

County Total Acres $/Acre NCCPI Soil Score Total Price Date Sold
Thayer 158.46 $7,000 54.9 $1,109,220 2/27/24
Thayer 78.66 $3,600 39.6 $283,176 2/27/24
Thayer 159.33 $4,300 50.4 $685,119 2/27/24
Thayer 72.46 $7,000 48.9 $507,220 2/27/24
Thayer 119.58 $5,200 58 $621,816 2/27/24
Butler 77.87 $10,900 62.4 $848,783 2/26/24
Custer 54.7 $2,357 54.7 $128,928 2/26/24
Custer 327.19 $2,357 52.1 $771,187 2/26/24
Custer 267.78 $2,357 54.7 $631,157 2/26/24
Custer 391.8 $2,357 52.5 $923,473 2/26/24
Perkins 627.4 $1,370 37.7 $859,538 2/23/24
Perkins 77.5 $400 19.2 $31,000 2/23/24
Wheeler 159.85 $2,525 - $403,621 2/22/24
Wheeler 160 $3,750 - $600,000 2/22/24
Wheeler 479.85 $3,025 31.2 $1,451,546 2/22/24
Wheeler 160 $2,750 - $440,000 2/22/24
Madison 67.23 $7,000 47.1 $470,610 2/20/24
Butler 40 $13,250 45.4 $530,000 2/19/24
Otoe 62.2 $7,200 68.9 $447,840 2/16/24
Banner 487.98 $471 23.1 $229,839 2/15/24
Butler 40 $9,000 62.1 $360,000 2/15/24
Madison 222.13 $6,050 74.9 $1,343,887 2/13/24
Burt 70.25 $9,050 73.8 $635,763 2/9/24
Buffalo 316.84 $2,000 58.9 $633,680 2/8/24
Butler 160 $14,264 66.4 $2,282,240 2/7/24
York 80.06 $10,600 63 $848,636 2/6/24
York 158.77 $10,100 61.2 $1,603,577 2/6/24
Butler 80 $9,500 60.7 $760,000 2/6/24
Madison 152.96 $9,150 63.9 $1,399,584 2/6/24
Madison 80 $4,000 60.4 $320,000 2/6/24
Butler 80 $9,400 65 $752,000 2/4/24
Merrick 161.61 $5,977 52.8 $965,943 2/1/24
STATEWIDE AVERAGES 176.01 $5,883 53.93 $746,231
STATEWIDE TOTALS 5632.46 $23,879,382

Is Now A Good Time to Sell Farmland in Nebraska?

Considering the recent trends in Nebraska’s farmland market, including the consecutive years of growth in agricultural land values, it is currently a favorable time for some landowners to consider selling. However, it’s essential to weigh this against potential future changes in cash rental rates, the impact of drought-related concerns, and increasing operating expenses. Additionally, the influence of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies on long-term interest rates could affect the cost of operating lines of credit and farm real estate loans, potentially impacting the market.

Given the estimated rise in farm values, which sets another high in the state’s history, coupled with the information on the profitability of farming and ranching activities, there is opportunity for landowners to capitalize on the current market conditions. However, each landowner’s situation is unique, and it’s crucial to thoroughly assess factors such as financial goals, land condition, and long-term plans before making any decisions.

Remaining attentive to market dynamics and staying informed about the latest trends in farm real estate, financial markets, and macroeconomic indicators is paramount. Seeking advice from financial advisors, real estate professionals, and other experts can provide valuable insights tailored to individual circumstances, helping landowners navigate the complexities of selling farmland in Nebraska. Additionally, considering factors such as the estimated rise in farm values and the prevailing economic climate can further inform decision-making regarding the timing of selling farmland.


Call us about selling your Nebraska land at 402-739-8696  We can help you safely transition your land ownership using a private sale, public auction or even a private land auction.

Market Trends and Future Projections:

Nebraska Land Market Trends

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

Every year the Center for Agricultural Profitability, which is based in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, conducts the Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey. Results from the survey are divided by land class and agricultural statistic district and was released in February 2024. You can view each regions’ average value categorized by land type in our comprehensive blog about this survey here 

According to the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Services (USDA-NASS) survey released in February 2024, Nebraska all-land average value of $4,015 per acre marks a 5% increase from the prior year. This is the third year in a row that the market value of agricultural land in Nebraska has increased, reaching a new high in the survey’s 46-year history without adjusting for inflation.

Land industry professionals participating in the annual survey credited the increase in Nebraska’s agricultural real estate values to several factors, including purchases for farm expansion, prevailing livestock prices, 1031 tax exchanges, the availability of land offerings for sale, and its role as a hedge against inflation.

Competition within the industry remained fierce, with operators contending with reduced land offerings for sale. Inflationary pressures persisted from the previous year, prompting many operations to invest in land or acquire agricultural equipment as a safeguard against future price hikes.

The estimated market value of dryland cropland without irrigation potential rose by 3% statewide compared to the previous year. Center pivot irrigated cropland saw an average increase of 4% in 2023, with the Northeast, Central, and East regions leading Nebraska with gains ranging from 5% to 8%. Conversely, the Northwest, North, South, and Southeast regions experienced increases ranging from 2% to 4%, while the Southeast witnessed a 3% decline.

Similarly, modest gains extended to gravity-irrigated cropland, with an average uptick of 3% in 2024. Grazing land and hayland market values saw increases ranging from 6% to 8%, with nontillable grazing land experiencing the highest surge of 8% as operators vied for additional acreage amid rising cattle prices.

Cash rental rates for dryland and irrigated cropland exhibited fluctuations, ranging from a 7% decrease to a 5% increase compared to the previous growing season. Concerns regarding drought, input costs, and water availability loomed large for survey participants in certain regions as they prepared for the upcoming growing season.

In contrast, pasture and cow-calf pair rental rates saw an upward trend across Nebraska in 2024, increasing by approximately 5% to 8% compared to the previous grazing season. The rise in grazing land cash rental rates mirrored the uptick in cattle prices following a decline in national inventories.

Future Predictions for Farmland Values

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

The future trajectory of cash rental rates and land values for farmland and ranchland in Nebraska may hinge on several key factors. Among these are the profitability of agricultural activities, the landscape of long-term borrowing costs, and the impact of drought-related concerns and escalating operating expenses. Additionally, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies aimed at influencing long-term interest rates could play a pivotal role in shaping the cost of operating lines of credit and farm real estate loans. These policies are likely to be influenced by broader economic indicators, including the nation’s overall economic growth and prevailing inflation rates.

For farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders in Nebraska, staying abreast of the latest trends and developments in farm real estate, financial markets, and macroeconomic indicators is crucial. Such awareness can empower them to make well-informed decisions regarding their operations, investments, and financial planning endeavors.


Navigating the Selling Process:

Tips for Selling Your Farm in Nebraska

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 Nebraska

Meet our team of Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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:

Nebraska 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 Nebraska farmland or call us at 402-739-8696

Alyssa Bromm

Alyssa Bromm

Nebraska Farm and Ranch Agent

Alyssa graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus on Management and a minor in Economics. She is a Nebraska Native, originally from a small town in the northeast part of the state. One of the most appreciated aspects of her job is getting to know each owner individually; the sense of community in this industry drives her dedication to maximizing your potential.

Alyssa is excited for the opportunity to earn your business. If you are curious about selling or would like to talk about your options, please reach out to her at (402) 870-2975 or [email protected].