2021 Iowa State University Land Value Survey

Iowa State University Land Survey

Show a 29% increase statewide.

History of the Iowa State Farmland Survey

The survey is an expert opinion survey based on reports by licensed real estate brokers, farm managers, appraisers, agricultural lenders, county assessors, and selected individuals considered to be knowledgeable of land market conditions. Respondents were asked to report for more than one county if they were knowledgeable about the land markets. The 2021 ISU Land Value Survey is based on 645 usable county-level land value estimates provided by 455 agricultural professionals. Of the 455 respondents, 75% completed the survey online. Online responses allow participants to provide estimates for up to 16 counties. A web portal has been developed to facilitate the visualization and analysis of Iowa farmland values by pooling data from ISU, USDA, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the REALTORS® Land Institute Iowa Chapter, as well as by making use of charts over time and interactive county maps. The portal can be accessed at https://www.card.iastate.edu/farmland.

Iowa Farmland Value Increase

The 2021 state average for all quality of land was estimated to be $9,751 per acre as of November 1, 2021. The statewide average value increased $2,193 per acre from November 2020. The statewide average value increased 29.0% from November 2020

Major Factors Influencing the Farmland Market

Most survey respondents listed positive and/or negative factors influencing the land 4 market. Of all respondents, 94% listed at least one positive factor, and 65% listed at least one negative factor. In most cases, respondents listed multiple factors. There were two positive factors listed by over 10% of respondents who provided at least one positive factor. The most frequently mentioned factor was higher commodity prices, mentioned by 28.5% of respondents. Favorable interest rates and strong yields were the second- and third-most frequently mentioned positive factors, mentioned by 24.4% and 7.4% of respondents, respectively. Other frequently mentioned positive factors included limited land supply (7%), strong demand, including from investors (6.8%), COVID-related government payments (6.3%), and good farm economy (4%). There were also two negative factors listed by more than 10% of respondents who identified at least one negative factor. The most frequently mentioned negative factor affecting land values was higher input costs, mentioned by 20% of respondents. Concerns about the sustainability of high land prices and possible changes in interest rates were the second- and third-most frequently mentioned negative factors, mentioned by 12% and 8.5% of respondents, respectively. Political uncertainty related to policies, such as tax law changes, and uncertainty related to COVID-19 were each mentioned by 5%–9% of respondents.

Who is buying Farmland?

The 2021 survey asked respondents what percent of land was bought from five 5 categories of sellers: active farmers, retired farmers, estate sales, investors, or other. The majority of farmland sales, 54%, were from estate sales, followed by retired farmers at 24%. Active farmers accounted for 9% of sales, while investors accounted for 10%. Estate sales by crop reporting district ranged from 66% in the Northwest district to 43% in the Southwest district. Sales by investors were highest in the South Central district (18%). The West Central district reported the lowest investor sale activity (5%).

Source Iowa State University

David Whitaker "Land Guy"

2021 Iowa Land Values
2021 Iowa Land Values By Crop Reporting District
Nominal and Inflation adjusted Iowa Farmland Values
1985-2021 Iowa Farmland sale activity
2021 and 2020 Iowa average land values, by county