2014 Iowa Farmland Rental Rates Survey

Land Auction Thumbnail

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



High Quality

Medium Quality

Low Quality
















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:





















































































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

For information about selling or renting farms contact us at DreamDirt.com  We are licensed to sell farmland.  Our land brokers and auctioneers provide private treaty listings and auction services for crop leases, real estate, farm machinery and estates.  You can call us at (855)376-3478

Visit us at our brokerage website Iowa Auctioneers and Farmland Brokers

2014 Farmland Prices a Surprise to Some

Land Auction Thumbnail
News of a farmland auction in Washington County Iowa has made its rounds through the circuit this week.  There have in fact been quite a few farmland auctions over the past month that have brought prices that were higher than some expected them to be.  We have written on this on the DreamDirt.com blog as well.

Here are a few examples of recent farmland sales across Iowa

9/9 Louisa County 73 Acres CSR2 68.4 $7000/a

9/10 Dallas County 85 Acres CSR2 85.9 $10,900

9/5 Kossuth County 308 Acres CSR2 77.7 $8,800

8/29 Jones County 168 Acres CSR2 86.4 $13,000

8/29 Osceola County 104 Acres CSR2 68.9 $7,350

8/29 Osceola County 84 Acres CSR2 95 $10,700

8/20 Cedar County 160 Acres CSR2 90 $13,500

8/9 Adair County 134 Acres CSR2 65.3 $4,400

8/6 Madison County 80 Acres CSR2 37 $3300

8/12 Decatur County 72 Acres CSR UNK $2850

8/4 O’Brien County 160 Acres CSR2 92.7 $10.200

8/1 Marion County 71.1 Acres CSR2 80.3 $7200

Thinking of selling a farm?  Let us help you understand your asset and the value of it.  We offer real estate listings, hyper listings, live and Internet auctions.  We specialize in marketing and selling farm assets at www.DreamDirt.com Call today (855)376-3478

Iowa Auctioneer: Farmland Commission Rates

Land Auction Thumbnail
How cheap do you want it to be?  We sell farms as cheaply as 0% commission to the seller where the buyer pays a buyers fee.  Sometimes the commission is all paid by the seller and sometimes its split between buyer and seller. As an auctioneer farmland commission rates are something I get asked about often.  If I could pick the number one question I get asked the most it would be a toss up between “what is the average commission an auctioneer charges for farmland sales in Iowa” and “what do you think this farm will bring”  I don’t mind answering either of them for you. There is no “average” auctioneer commission for farmland in Iowa or Nebraska.  Commissions are not set by anybody but are an agreement between the auctioneer and the farmland owner.  We charge a commission based on the amount of work and marketing required to sell your farm and the type of auction you choose and the value of the property. Some farms are very large and the commission rate are very lowr, some are very small and the commission rate is higher.  Some farms are very valuable and require less marketing expense which means a smaller commission rate.Iowa farmland auction commissions DreamDirt provides an exceptional value to our clients and offers something that other auctioneer services do not including our use of online bidding, remote bidding app for smart phones, digital targeting, our VIP list, search engine presence, over 50,000 followers in social media just to name a few.  There is a reason so many families and their heirs have trusted DreamDirt to be their voice when welling family farms and ranches. We pride ourselves in reasonable commission fees that are equivalent to the work required and the value of the farm.  If we charged one flat fee you can see how that would not be fair or reasonable to everybody. If you would like to know what we would charge to sell your farm its easy.
    1. You can call us at 712-592-8965 (Jason)
    1. You can fill out a form online on our Selling Iowa Farmland
    1. You can email Jason@dreamdirt.com 

Dunlap Iowa Farmland Auction $18,025 per Acre

Land Auction Thumbnail
Dunlap Iowa farmland auction fetches $18,025 at auction on March 9th.  This farm is located in Crawford County literally on the southern line with Harrison County, and only a few miles from the Monona County line.  This area is often called the Tri County area where the 3 counties come together.  This farm lies just northwest of Dunlap Iowa off of Highway 37.  The other two parcels offered for sale at this sale brought $13,750 per acre and $14,000 per acre.

Record farmland auction dunlap iowa 18025

The farm known as the “Dunham Farm” owned by Dunham Farms, LLC. was good bottom ground and this sale is an example of what high quality tillable farmland can do at auction. It had an 83 CSR which is well above the county and state average for the area.  This piece was one of 3 that were sold the same day and consisted of 144.03 acres. Dennis Grote was the successful buyer at the auction and its been said that Dennis had rented the farm for the past 41 years.  For those that keep track of the dollars per CSR point this would total up to an impressive $217 per CSR point where Crawford County’s average is $160 per point, Harrison $158, Monona $160 per point.

Dunlap iowa farmland record sale

Looking at this farm from a wide aerial might give you an idea why it was so well bid for.  This Boyer River bottom farm not only has a great CSR rating but as you can see from the graphic below its surrounded by lots of hill ground which is typical of the Loess Hills in this area.  Farms like this are a gem, they always create intense competition.  If you were to price this farm at average per dollar CSR figures you would get about $13,400 per acre.  The combination of use of the auction method of marketing along with being a premium farm resulted in the seller achieving around $4625 per acre more than averages.  Multiplied by 144 acres thats $660,000 gross premium or 25% increase over averages.

dunlap iowa farm sale 18025

Looking for more information on farmland in this area?  We offer a the largest up to date data on Iowa farmland prices here on DollarsAndDirt.com  Here are our pages on the 3 county area

Considering selling farmland?  Click the Contact link above to send us an email.  Our phone number is at the bottom of the page.

You should also read these articles on Dollars And Dirt

  1. Is Iowa in A Farmland Bubble

  2. Auctioneer Jason Smith on Fox News

  3. Auctioneer Jason Smith on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams

  4. Is It a Good Time to Sell Farmland In Iowa?

  5. Reviews from past sellers

NOTICE: Our graphics may differ from actual sale graphics, our graphics were made from the best information possible after the sale.  This article is intended for general information about farmland prices in the state of Iowa.  Any information you must rely on should be independently verified.

Iowa Hunting Land Is It Your Best Marketing Option?

Land Auction Thumbnail
So you want to market your farm as Iowa hunting land. Is it your best marketing option? For many years I have sold farms to hunters, even specialized in nothing but hunting farms around the Midwest for several years.  For the last 5 years we have watched the supply of Iowa hunting land (and surrounding states as well) explode along with the number of agents selling this type of farm at the same time it seemed buyers were dwindling.  Now there is one place that keeps track of sales, its something you have to keep your finger on daily to really have a feel for.

iowa hunting land broker

Today the marketplace is saturated with recreational land brokers/agents as well as listings of land being marketed to the recreational market segment and yet it seems the demand for such farms has been decreasing with increased land prices and an increased appetite of farmers for farmland.  I came across an interesting indicator of this decreased demand for Iowa hunting land that I had to share.

From Google Labs I found that the phrase “Iowa Hunting Land” peaked as a search on Google in 2006 and has since declined in search volume.  I think this is a good indicator because the recreational land market is not local.  A large portion of the buyers for Iowa hunting land are coming from other states or other parts of the state so the Internet has been a great mechanism for finding farms a hunter might be interested in.

iowa hunting land demand

The above graphic shows the search phrase “Iowa Hunting Land” peaking in December 2006, the 100 is an indication of the highest search volume for that term.  2006 was the height of recreational land trading and purchases, at that time a new recreational land company was hitting the Internet every month.  The graphic below shows that in November 2012 searches on Google for “Iowa Hunting Land”  were only 46% of what they were at the peak December 2006.  There were 54% fewer searches for “Iowa Hunting Land” in November 2012.

iowa hunting land

This tells us a few things.

  1. There is still demand for hunting land in Iowa, there is demand for all price points of farms to hunters from the finest well maintained hunting farm to the raw farm that a buyer can start from scratch.

  2. If you intend to market your farm as hunting land in Iowa then you have to have some unique feature or price that will grab seller attention.  Hunters love certain attributes about farms they will purchase.  They like big bucks, no road frontage, water sources, low hunting pressure in the area, deep mature timber, pocket fields, multiple access points, lack of easements, dead end roads among others.

  3. Marketing your farm as hunting property may not be your best option unless its the only option.  In 2006 it was a great option, there was a huge demand for hunting farms but with the raise in commodity prices farmers are back in the game and you are likely to achieve a better price quicker today by marketing the farm through a farmland broker that has an audience of buyers that are both farmers and hunters.

Why is it appealing to sell a farm as hunting land versus “just” farmland?  In my experience sellers believe they can extract greater value from a farm if a buyer places value on the wildlife and recreational aspects of the farm.  In theory it sounds great but I’ve yet to have anybody walk in and whip out a checkbook.  In fact the often high prices on recreational listings keep most would be buyers away because they believe they do not have even a chance of buying it.

All things have different value to different people and I believe the greatest way to extract the highest value out of any farm is to bring all of those different people together in a room and let them bid for the farm.  Auctions are the single greatest way to sell any farm no matter how you want to sell it.  In the end you are going to extract the value out of each bidder whether they are a hunter, a farmer or an investor until there is only one standing.  I say this with many land auctions under my belt.  I have marketed farms to every imaginable demographic out there and we always do best when it comes to an auction.

1st Place in the Advertising Contest: Iowa Auctioneers Association

Land Auction Thumbnail
chris_richards_realty_auctionI was honored this weekend with a 1st place trophy from the Iowa Auctioneers Association at the Winter Convention in Des Moines. Auctioneers from across the state of Iowa gathered for legal updates, new training, networking and of course a few competitions.

The association hosts bid calling competitions for both veterans and rookies, a ringman competition and an advertising competition. I had never entered a competition before as an auctioneer but thought I might give the advertising contest a try. We work closly with a very accomplished graphic designer and I think together we put together pretty nice material that stands out so it was worth a shot right?

The entire weekend was a great experience, besides the award spending time with top action professionals from around the state is always fun.  I have to give a shout out to our graphic designer who creates the best auction advertising material I have seen … without him, his experience, his incredible skill and ability to bring my visions to life I don’t think we would have come up the winner!

Iowa Auctioneer Advertising Award

Results of Story County Iowa Farm Auction

Land Auction Thumbnail
Results of Story County Iowa Farm Auction – $10,600 Per Acre

Yesterday was a busy day. Starting off from home at 5am, I arrived in Huxley at 8am to visit the Moland farm one more time before selling it at 10am. I love the opportunity to sell farms across the state, but the Moland family had sent me 100-year-old photos of their ancestors who had originally immigrated to Iowa from Norway, and claimed this farm 134 years ago.

The covered wagons and smiling faces showed Iowa was full of hope clear back then. I’d gotten an opportunity to see this at more than just a farm, because I know they are, but you don’t always get to see photos.

Thats a special treat.

I sat in the early morning sun overlooking the farm, well aware that with Iowa’s high land prices today, this farm would bring good competition from bidders. Knowing every detail was tied up, every bit of marketing we could have done was done…now for us as auctioneers it was “go” time.

I know many people think the job of an auctioneer has to be pretty easy, at least in terms of time and commitment. If you recall an article I wrote a few months ago about the lady that called and asked how much I would charge her to sell her farm, her response was “are you serious…for just an hour of work you get that much?”

I still giggle about that a bit at times. From beginning to end, over 200 man power hours can get wrapped up in one farmland property. The real work happens before the sale and after the sale. The sale really is a very small part of the actual exchange of a farmland real estate property, but its a crutial part of the process. Extremely crutial.

Walking to the microphone on sale day means you are about to determine the future for somebody. Dealing with multimillion dollar assets means there is no room for error anywhere. The microphone is where we separate the men from the boys, the girls from the women. By 9:30, the Ballard Country Club, where we were holding the Moland farmland sale, was filling up.  Farmers, investors, curious agents and auctioneers, as well as family and friends, filled the chairs, even the back of the room filling out into the stairway hallway.

Just before the sale I visited with the Moland family one last time before we started the sale. They wished me luck and said “go sell it Jason.”

We started the sale promplty at 10am, and in no time we were at $10,400 an acre…the sale moved along quickly with six initial bidders. After 10 minutes, we took a break and held the price at $10,400 while visiting with the sellers on the phone in Arizona. It was time for them to confirm the sale, and give the final permission to sell it. I got Leroy on the phone and told him where we were at, and I could tell he was shocked and excited at the same time.

All he could get to come out was “Oh, that’s great, oh that’s great.”

The rest of the sale played out, and when the dust settled the last bidder was standing at $10,600 per acre. The buyer was excited, the seller was excited…a farm that had not been owned by anybody but the Moland family for the past 134 years was on its way to only its second owner in more than a century.

Can you imagine that this asset, Iowa farmland, was so valuable that its only had two owners…now its third owner in the history of Iowa statehood?

For more information and update on Iowa farmland sales, follow us on Facebook.

Farmland Sales Auctioneer In Lenox Iowa Chad Bals

Land Auction Thumbnail
Farmland Sales Auctioneer Lenox IowaWe welcome farmland sales Auctioneer in Lenox Iowa Chad Bals to our staff.  Lenox is in Taylor County Iowa.  Chad is licensed to sell real estate and will cover all of Southwest Iowa including the counties of Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Page, Fremont and Mills.

Chad was born and raised in northwest Iowa before relocating to southern Iowa where he was a police officer for a long time before going to work selling parts at a John Deere dealership.  His valuable experience has gives him an advantage many others don’t have “Working the parts counter in a busy dealership not only introduced me to nearly every farmer in the area, but made me familiar with their needs and about any imaginable part any tractor could have” Chad said.  When it comes to selling farmland, machinery or liquidating a farm operation its important to have a good relationship with those in the agricultural community.  Chad brings a unique set of skills to our staff in that his agricultural equipment is exceptional and his personality is that of the quintessential auctioneer, he knows everybody, everybody knows him and he’s got that likeable personality.

Selling farmland and machinery is second nature to Chad.  “Moving into the auction business was an easy decision, it took advantage of everything I enjoyed and the people I enjoy serving” he said of his auctioneering career.

Chad can be reached at 641-202-9417 or by email Chad@DollarsAndDirt.com to discuss farmland, machinery or retirement auctions.  Chad is also licensed to sell real estate and can listing farmland properties where an auction is not desired.