The 37th “Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Highlights” report was recently released. the average all-land value was reported as $3250 per acre, down 2% from 2014. Five of the eight Nebraska Agricultural Statistics Districts had declines in land values, Northeast, East, Southeast, Central And South, while three had increases, North, Southwest and Panhandle. The last three are heavily influenced by pasture land values which have increased.
The report lists factors affecting farm and grazing land values. Beef cattle prices are adding bullishness for hay and grazing land values. Two crop factors were negative for cropland values, current crop prices and high input costs leading to losses.
Hayland prices rose 20% statewide while grazing land rose 9% for tillable land and 16% for non-tillable grazing land. Crop ground prices dropped 4 to 9% with the largest drop in dryland cropland with no irrigation potential. Also the more marginal cropland had a larger value decline than higher quality farmland.
Even though land values declined over the past year, all districts and land types are higher than 5 years ago. Nearly all districts of Nebraska and ag land use classes are double or more than 5 years ago.The Northwest Ag district had the smallest percentage change, 86%, the Southwest district had the largest percentage change, 137%, in the value of all ag lands. Hayland is 191% higher and non-tillable grazing land is 136% higher statewide.
Active farmer/ranchers continue to be the majority of buyers for ag land in Nebraska, 89%, with only 3% of ag land purchases by out of state buyers. The largest group of NE ag land sellers were estates, 42% of transactions. There was variations for both buyer and seller by ag district. Compared to 2014, four Nebraska districts had higher land sales by active farmers, North, Southwest, Northwest and Central.
2015 cash rental rates for cropland for cropland declined in all ag districts. However grazing rental rates rose from 10 to 35% Monthly pair and stocker pasture rental rates set record levels.