LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A report by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows a 10 percent decline in the state's average farmland value over the past year.
The survey appeared in the Wednesday edition of Cornhusker Economics, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. It revealed slower bids and land sales, resulting in the value drop. Agricultural economist Jim Jansen said Nebraska appraisers, farm managers and agricultural finance professionals replied to the survey saying low commodity prices and high property tax concerns are putting pressure on land values. The drop marks the third consecutive year the state's average farmland price has declined. As of Feb. 1, the average was a little over $2,800 per acre, 15 percent lower than 2014's more than $3,315 per acre. The steepest decline of dryland without irrigation potential was in heavy winter wheat-producing areas such as central, southwest and southern Nebraska. Those areas saw about a 15 percent drop.
Auctioneer Travis Augustin said every piece of land is different, and that prices depend on region, land use, productivity and irrigation.
"Good irrigated farm ground, good soils and good water is still in high demand," he said. "There are still a lot of buyers out there looking for farmland, and still a lot of people in a strong financial position able to buy it."
Waldo Realty co-owner Pat Chohon said most of the active land buyers are neighbors looking to expand their farms, although there are still investors lingering around the market.
"I think the general consensus is everyone realizes things do cycle and they're just patiently waiting," Chohon said.