The year-end land value trends for the association have recently been completed and offer an interesting look at what land values are doing in our area. Our association keeps records of land sales in our area and each year we analyze these sales to determine the direction of land prices.
The trend in land prices this year, was much as we expected, seeing a decrease in land values for the majority of our association territory. It does appear that the rate at which prices are decreasing is beginning to slow. For the total area that High Plains Farm Credit covers, the value of good upland crop, which is considered as productive class II soils, decreased approximately 9% compared to decreasing by 21% last year. The value of marginal upland crop ground, soils classes III, IV, and VI decreased approximately 5% compared to 15% last year. And the value of pasture decreased approximately 10%. These figures are based on sales in our territory and a few counties just outside our territory where we do significant business.
The land values in our area are fairly consistent from north to south. We do typically see an increase in land values the farther east in our territory that we go. This year there are pockets within counties that are showing no decrease, which is a difference from the prior year.
A recent trend that has been noticed is that pure crop land or pure pasture land sales have been selling at a premium to tracts that are diversified. The appraisers will continue to monitor this and see if it remains a trend in the coming years.
Irrigated land in our area showed an average price of $3714/acre which is approximately 19% lower than last year’s values. CRP averaged $1,022/acre for the year which is approximately 14% lower.
This year we also completed a study of land prices by region:
- North Region (Decatur, Norton, Phillips, Smith, Sheridan, Graham, Rooks and Osborne)
- Central Region (Gove, Trego, Ellis, Russell, Lane, Ness, Rush and Barton)
- Southwest Region (Hodgeman, Gray, Ford, Edwards, Kiowa, Meade and Clark)
- Southeast Region (Pawnee, Stafford, Pratt, Comanche, Barber, Kingman and Harper)
This year, the north region showed the smallest decrease in value. This might be partially explained by the fact that last year the northern region showed one of the largest decreases in value. Counties that showed significant decreases would include: Osborne with approximately 22% decrease in crop prices and 32% decrease in pasture; Harper with approximately 29% decrease in crop prices and 16% decrease in pasture prices; Sheridan with approximately 25% decrease in crop and 28% decrease in pasture; and Stafford with approximately 26% decrease in crop and 15% decrease in pasture. These decreases are based on sales that we have, and may be affected by a small number of sales, or sales concentrated in certain portions of a county that may be higher or lower than other portions of the county.
Our association currently has four state certified appraisers on staff. If you have agricultural land that you need appraised for estate purposes, for buying, for selling, or any other purpose, please let us know. We would be more than willing to discuss doing an appraisal for you.