Nebraska Average Ag Land Value Drops 3% from 2017

By: Jim Jansen - UNL- Agricultural Systems Economics Extension Educator

Average Nebraska ag land value dropped 3% from last year, according to a preliminary report of the 2018 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market survey. That's less than the 9% drop reported in 2017 and similar to the 4% drop reported in spring 2016.

The average market value of Nebraska farmland declined by 3% over the prior year to $2,745 per acre, according to a preliminary report of the 2018 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey (Table 1). This marks the fourth consecutive year of downward pressure. Market values have dropped 17% since reaching a high of $3,315 in 2014.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agricultural Economics annually surveys Nebraska land professionals including appraisers, farm and ranch managers, and agricultural bankers. Results from the survey are divided by land class and summarized by the eight Agricultural Statistic Districts of Nebraska.

Survey participants pointed to low commodity prices over the prior year and current property tax policies as the reason for declining farm real estate values.


Tillable grazing land values declined by 6%, the largest percentage decline of the seven land classes. Sharp drops in the northeast (11%) and central (10%) districts contributed to the overall reduction in tillable grazing land values. Hayland in the central and southwest districts also experienced 10% declines in value.

Survey participants pointed to low commodity prices over the prior year and current property tax policies as the reason for declining Nebraska farm real estate values.

Values for dryland and irrigated cropland across Nebraska declined 1%-7%. In several districts land values increased 2%-6%, but these instances were small, indicating a fairly unchanged land market for the region.

Future prospects for cropland in Nebraska remain interlaced with the earning potential for the major commodities grown across the state, input expenses, and monetary policies influencing the cost of borrowing for future land purchases. Regulation policies guiding the use of water for irrigation were also noted as a potential driver for the changes in the future value of irrigated cropland in certain areas of the state, according to survey participants.

Land classes serving the cow-calf industry, including grazing land and hayland, experienced a wide range in declines between 1% and 10% across the state. In several districts, tillable grazing land and hayland reported small gains of 2%-6%.

According to survey participants, demand for beef and availability of forages during periods of drought were two of the major drivers for the future value of land classes serving the cow-calf industry. Recent increases in exports of beef from Nebraska to China remain critical for the value of cattle raised in the state. Also, extended periods of drought may increase the price and availability of forages influencing the potential market value of hayland.

Photo: AgView.net

Story source: UNL CropWatch

Put Ag View on your website with our free widgets or by affiliating with agview.net or Ag View Radio. Easily import ag news and information.

Affiliates of the Ag View Network are allowed to use and redistribute content in accordance with our Affiliate Usage Policy