Unlocking the Value of Nebraska Farmland: A Comprehensive Guide to Current Land Prices and Expert Insights - January 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 Value Monthly Report January 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, the Nebraska Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) rose to 39.5 from December’s 37.3, indicating a modest increase. However, the state’s farmland price index decreased to 60.0 in January from 63.7 in December. Additionally, Nebraska’s new-hiring index for January experienced a decline, dropping to 45.5 from December’s 46.5.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over the past 12 months, Nebraska’s Rural Mainstreet economy witnessed a slight 0.3% increase in employment. In contrast, employment in the state’s urban areas grew at a higher rate of 1.3%.

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 January, a total of 2,999.03 acres were sold in Nebraska from auction sales data.

• The current average per acre price for land in Nebraska according to these January sales is $4,686 per acre.

• The highest selling farm in Nebraska in the month of January 2024 sold on January 26th in Phelps County for $2,170,516 or $13,500 per acre for 75.5 acres, with an NCCPI of 75.5.

• The same sale on January 26th in Phelps County also happens to be the farm with the highest selling price per acre in the month of January.

Farmland Auction Results in Nebraska January 2024

County Total Acres $/Acre NCCPI Soil Score Total Price Date Sold
Custer 150 $5,500 57.7 $825,000 1/9/24
Antelope 77.78 $7,400 63.9 $575,572 1/11/24
Garden 634 $2,681.39 28.8 $1,700,000 1/11/24
Garden 463 $1,015.12 22.5 $470,000 1/12/24
Morrill 194 $1,134 25.7 $220,000 1/16/24
Custer 376.55 $4,900 64.7 $1,845,095 1/23/24
Sherman 70.85 $4,400 62.1 $311,740 1/23/24
Holt 160 $2,501 26.5 $400,160 1/23/24
Custer 524.29 $2,450 52.3 $1,284,510 1/23/24
Custer 160 $2,300 52.1 $368,000 1/23/24
Merrick 27.77 $8,450 51 $234,656.50 1/25/24
Phelps 160.79 $13,500 75.5 $2,170,516 1/26/24
249.92 $4,686 48.57 $867,104
2999.03 $10,405,250

Is Now A Good Time to Sell Farmland in Nebraska?

The Nebraska farmland market has demonstrated resilience throughout the year, particularly in eastern Nebraska along the Missouri River and through the Platte River Corridor. Sales across the state have generally met or exceeded sellers’ expectations. Dryland sales have maintained momentum over the past 11 months, while irrigated farmland appears to have experienced some gains during the same period. Sales of ranch land and hunting land have remained steady, with numerous successful transactions, notably in North Central and Western Nebraska. Access to water continues to be a critical factor in Nebraska land sales, and prices reflect this consideration.

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. You’ll find the regional results across Nebraska below.. Results from the survey are divided by land class and agricultural statistic district and was released in February 2023. You can view each regions’ average value categorized by land type in our comprehensive blog about this survey here 

Nebraska Farmland Prices

According to the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Services (USDA-NASS)  survey released in February 2023, Nebraska’s farm real estate value experienced a substantial 13.1% increase, averaging $4,240 per acre—an annual growth of $490/acre. The state ranked fifth in the nation for the highest percentage annual increase in farm real estate. Additionally, Nebraska’s cropland values reported the third-highest surge in the country, rising by 13.8% to reach an average of $6,830 per acre. These statistics highlight the robust growth and market dynamics within Nebraska’s agricultural real estate landscape in 2023. Stay tuned for this year’s report in our next month’s blog. 

More recently, data from the Farm Credit Services of America indicates that Nebraska’s land values have seen a notable increase, rising by 4.4% in the last six months and 7.8% over the course of the year. Specifically, cropland values experienced an average uptick of 4.2%, while pastureland values saw a 5.9% increase in the most recent six-month period. Comparing year-over-year figures, values rose by 6.2% for cropland and 5.4% for pastureland. However, sales showed a decrease of nearly 12% for the year.

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:

Sustained Value Amidst Challenges: Despite pressures from declining commodity markets, rising interest rates, and inflation, the land market retains its value gains from recent years.

Slowing Growth, Persistent Demand: While the rapid rise in land values has slowed, demand remains strong for quality cropland across the Midwest, with limited supply.

Local Dominance in Transactions: Local farmer/operators continue to dominate transactions, leveraging available cash in nearly 80% of transactions.

Financial Shifts and Impact: Recently, the Ag Credit Survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City indicated increased lending and narrowed equity positions among market operators, potentially impacting net farm income.

Diverse Buyer Motivations: Buyer motivations vary between farm operators and land investors, with profitability being paramount for operators and investors seeking diversification or returns.

Optimism Amidst Uncertainty: Easing interest rates and reduced inflation offer some optimism for farm balance sheets, despite global conflicts and political events posing both positive and negative impacts on the agricultural economy and land values.

Active Cash Buyers: Discussions around rising interest rates may suggest a softening market, but cash buyers remain active, particularly for properties in desirable locations, as evidenced by recent sales demonstrating continued interest at current values.


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].