Sunday, January 26, 2014

In Next 20 Years, Many Iowa Acres Will Change Hands

Des Moines Register:
Iowa could see nearly 60 percent of the state’s farmland change hands over the next 20 years, a speaker at the Land Investment Expo in West Des Moines said Friday.
That represents nearly $150 billion in value, Ron Beach, a Peoples Co. broker, told a packed room of farmers, landowners and others. Peoples, a Clive-based land management and real estate company, organized the event.
Beach said demographics are driving the changes. Nearly 30 percent of the state’s farmland is owned by farmers 65 to 74 years old, and 30 percent is owned by farmers who are 75 years or older.
Of those owners, about 70 percent will give their land to their children, Beach said. And 50 to 60 percent of those inheriting the land will sell it.....
Altogether, Iowa’s farmland is valued at $267.6 billion.
Beach told the group that Iowa land values should remain relatively steady, although declining commodity prices have caused the market to “top out” and likely plateau.
He sketched out a scenario where Iowa farmland could push down to about $6,000 an acre, with corn prices hovering around $4.25 a bushel. An Iowa State University land survey in December showed farmland values averaged $8,716 an acre in 2013.
Beach said he wasn’t making a prediction, but offering an example of how changing commodity prices and interest rates can shift the fundamentals of farmland values.
I think those age brackets and percentages probably look fairly similar over much of the corn belt.  I would expect increased supply on the market to also push land values downward.

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