Kirk Green – Sr. Appraiser Phillipsburg Office

The year-end land value trends for the association are complete and offer an interesting look at what land values have done in our area in the past year.  Our association keeps records of land sales in our area and each year we analyze these sales to determine the direction of the market.

The trend in land prices for this year seem to show a mixed bag for our area, with some classes of ground decreasing and others increasing, but nothing overall moving drastically.  For the total High Plains Farm Credit territory, plus a few counties on the edge of our territory, the value of good upland crop ground (which is considered as productive class II soils) showed a decrease of less than 1%.  The value of marginal crop ground (soils classes III, IV, and VI) decreased approximately 2%.  CRP showed a decrease of nearly 9%, reflecting a large amount selling with soon to be expiring contracts and the possibility of lower contract rates if renewed.  Irrigated land showed a decrease of approximately 4%.  The value of pasture actually increased approximately 11%. These figures are based on closed sales that are considered arm’s length transactions.

The land value in our area is fairly consistent from north to south.  We do typically see an increase in land values the farther east in our territory that we go.  The majority of the counties in our area are showing slight increases or slight decreases in land values for each land type.  The counties showing increases in values for all land types included Graham, Kingman, Lane, Pawnee and Pratt.  The counties showing decreases in values for all land types included Rooks, Russell and Smith.  This information seems to support the idea that we are leveling off still.

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)

Despite having 2 counties that showed decreasing values in all land types, the North Region showed increases in all land types except CRP.  The Southeast region had 3 counties that showed increases in all land types, but yet it shows a decrease in both classes of crop ground.

One interesting factor that we have seen in the past year is that there appears to be an increase of recreational buyers, especially in the Southeast Region of the territory.  While the recreational buyers are not paying as high of price as they did in 2015/2016, the price in 2019 was over $300/acre higher than 2017 for pasture in the Southeast Region, an increase of over 25%.  The counties that seem to have the most recreational sales are Stafford and Barber.

Our association currently has four state certified appraisers on staff that are continuously watching the market and trying to monitor land values.  If you have agricultural land that you need appraised for estate purposes, for buying, for selling, or for any other purpose, please let us know.  We would be more than willing to discuss doing an appraisal for you.