Kirk Green – Sr. Appraiser Phillipsburg Office

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 seems to show that most land prices are still trending downward but at a much slower rate for the majority of our association territory. 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 8.5% compared to decreasing by 9% last year. The value of marginal upland crop ground, soils classes III, IV, and VI decreased approximately 10%. 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. Most of the counties in our area are showing slight decreases in land values for some land types and slight increases in land values for other land types. The only counties showing increases in all land types were Pratt, Stafford and Trego. The counties showing decreases in values for all land types were Graham, Harper, Hodgeman, Ness, Osborne and Rush. It appears that the southern areas are starting show some improvement in value while the central and northern parts of our territory are still trying to level off.

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.

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 a decrease in value for all land types except for irrigated land. The central region showed a decrease in all land values except pasture. Both the southeast and southwest regions showed increases in land values for some land types and decreases in value for other land types.

All of these values seem to indicate that land prices are starting to level off. The areas where we have been seeing significant decreases in value seem to be showing prices not falling as sharply. The areas where we felt that land prices had stabilized seem to be showing a slight increase. We will continue to monitor the market and see where it is headed.

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.