Brown, Lynch say market is good

The average value of Davis County farmland increased 3.7% from Nov. 1, 2018 to Nov. 1, 2019 according to the 2019 Iowa State University Farmland Value Survey conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development in the Department of Economics at ISU and ISU Extension and Outreach.

The average value of Davis County farmland in 2018 was reported as $4,723 per acre. That figure rose to $4,897 per acre in 2019.

Average values statewide were considerably higher than Davis County at $7,264 per acre in 2018 and $7,432 in 2019.

Davis County’s figures also rank lower than the average land value of $6,868 per acre in southeast Iowa in 2019.

Iowa’s highest land values were recorded in northwest Iowa where the average value per acre was listed at $9,352. East central Iowa was second highest with an average value of $8,475 per acre.

Other average values around the state were $6,166 per acre in southwest Iowa; $7,564 in west central Iowa; $7,912 per acre in the north central region; $7,326 in northeast Iowa; and $8,336 in the central part of the state.

The average value of Iowa farmland rose from $261 per acre in 1960 to $8,716 in 2013, then receded to $7,432 in 2019.

Though Davis County farmland values are lower than those in most of the state, Lincoln Lynch of Lynch Realty and A.J. Brown of Davis County Realtors both report strong demand and a competitive market for quality Davis County land in the past year.

“Guys who are looking to expand their portfolio and want good land are paying $5,000 to $7,000 per acre,” Lynch said.

“Davis County farmland appeals to a wide range of people for different reasons,” Brown said. “Unlike a lot of Iowa, Davis County has a wide variety of types of farms: pasture, cropland, timber, CRP, large farms, medium farms, and small farms.”

Brown said crop farmers are often interested in purchasing high quality land that is near their own land, but he finds that many more people are interested in the investment side of Davis County farmland.  

Cattle farmers want pasture land, he said, and there is a demand for timber and hunting land from those in larger cities or who live out-of-state. “CRP land appeals to hunters and investors,” he said.

“There is a large demand for smaller farms with or without a home and buildings for those people wanting to live or build in the country with the possibility of a few farm animals or horses,” Brown said.

Lynch commented on the increase in land values and said he doesn’t see any decreases in the future. “Recreational investors and those looking to add to their portfolios are solid buyers,” he said. “They are willing to pay premium prices.”

Lynch and Brown both said the demand for farmland is steady and interest rates are good.