2014 Iowa Farmland Rental Rates Survey

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2014 Iowa Farmland Rental Rates

This report is broken down by 9 Crop Reporting Districts across Iowa.  Find your District here.

farmland rentals rates in Iowa2

District 1 Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sioux County

District 2 Butler, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Humboldt, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago, Worth, Wright County

District 3 Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard, Winneshiek County

District 4 Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, Harrison, Ida, Monona, Sac, Shelby, Woodbury County

District 5 Boone, Dallas, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Story, Tama, Webster County

District 6 Benton, Cedar, Clinton, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Muscatine, Scott County

District 7 Adair, Adams, Cass, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Taylor County

District 8 Appanoose, Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, Union, Warren, Wayne County

District 9 Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Mahaska, Van Buren, Wapello, Washington County


With the aid of 1,674 farmers, landowners, farm managers and agricultural lenders from every county in the state, who answered based on their knowledge of typical cash rental rates for the year 2014, the Iowa Farmland Rental Rate Survey has shown a small decrease in rates as compared to the previous two years in relation to high, medium, and low quality cropland in the various districts and counties throughout the state. Even so, over a five year period, 2014 marks an increase in rental rates per acre of land across the board, which means that while there is a noticeable fluctuation from one year to the next, over the medium term, the market seems to be gaining favorably.

As an example, let’s take a look at corn and soybean acres for rent in Crop Reporting District 1. The average rental rate for 2010 in this area was reduced to $188, an amount that climbed to its highest point in 2013 at $283 and then decreased somewhat in 2014 to end the year at $270. A similar pattern can be seen in District 5, where the going rate in 2010 was $195. Over the next three years, the rental rate of this district climbed exponentially, reaching $297 in 2013 and settling at $284 in 2014. The only Crop Reporting District in which fluctuations have not been as marked is Crop Reporting District 9, where the going rate in 2010 was $169. This number grew to $229 in 2013 and has remained in place during 2014.

Of course, these numbers are only averages, and the final rental rate can be higher or lower depending on a large number of factors, most of which are related to the topography and fertility of a certain tract of land. For instance, smaller fields with terraces or creeks can bring in a lower than average rate, as would those fields that are difficult to access or which may have a lower fertility rate than others in the area. On the other hand, a higher fertility level of the soil or above average grain prices in the area would implicate an increase over the average rental rate.

In this manner, the rental rate per acre of land on a statewide basis ranges between $52 and $316, based on the type of crop it will produce and the overall quality of the land, as is shown in the following table:

Iowa Farmland Rental Rates

Crop

Average

High Quality

Medium Quality

Low Quality

Corn/Beans

$260

$316

$261

$204

Alfalfa

$191

Grass

$143

Oats

$175

ImprovPasture

$77

UnimprovPasture

$52

A notorious difference can also be found in the different districts across the state, with the highest rental rate for corn and soybeans being found in Districts 1, 4 and 6, and the lowest in Districts 8 and 9 as follows:

Crop

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Corn

AND

Beans

$269

to

$375

$270

to

$323

$277

$288

to

$325

$284

$273

To

$338

$249

$202

$229

TO

$321

Alfalfa

$219

$208

$265

$222

$186

$213

$134

$111

$161

Grass

$163

$138

$202

$172

$138

$167

$111

$83

$112

Oats

$223

$197

$235

$214

$167

$170

$108

$118

$141

Improv

Pasture

$82

$71

$75

$84

$71

$83

$86

$71

$74

Unimpr

Pasture

$57

$50

$47

$57

$53

$56

$61

$47

$42

Note: The second rate shown for Districts 1, 2, 4, 6 and 9, relative to corn and soybean production, represents the rental rate for irrigated land.

Additionally, the 2014 rental rates for fields with hunting rights range from $8 to $27, while those used for cornstalk grazing range from $7 to $20 per acre, depending on their location. It is important to note that these numbers are only representative of the acreage itself, and do not include any added value that could be acquired through the inclusion of buildings or storage facilities or any current contracts, which include those for manure application or seed production. For more detailed information, which could be helpful to those looking to apply a fair rate to their farmland.  You can download the full report here:  2014 Iowa Farmland Rentral Rates

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