Final results: Panhandle farmland values up 20 percent in 2014 | TSLN.com

Final results: Panhandle farmland values up 20 percent in 2014

Jessica Johnson
UNL Extension Educator

Farmland values in the Nebraska Panhandle continue to climb, according to results of the annual Nebraska Farm Real Estate Survey released in June. The results reveal that in 2014, the average statewide value of farmland increased 9 percent to $3,315 per acre. In the Panhandle, the average farmland value increased 20 percent to $855 per acre.

Rising Land Values

Several factors have contributed to rising land values in recent years, including record high farm income, low interest rates, expanding operations, and limited land sales. Even though some of these factors are still in play, the downturn in commodity prices led to more modest increases in statewide cropland values in 2014.

The value of gravity-irrigated cropland in the Panhandle increased 6 percent, consistent with the statewide average for this land class. Center-pivot-irrigated cropland in the Panhandle increased 21 percent to $3,770 per acre. The Panhandle district reported the highest percentage increase for center-pivot-irrigated cropland.

Dryland cropland also showed significant increases from 2013. Dryland cropland with no irrigation potential increased 21 percent to $845 per acre. Dryland cropland with irrigation potential increased 28 percent to $935 per acre.

The survey indicated that lingering effects of drought, the conversion of grazing land to cropland, and higher cattle prices could be factors driving up grazing and hayland values.

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Non-tillable grazing land increased 9 percent in the Panhandle to $405 per acre. The Panhandle had the lowest reported increase of this land class in in the state. Tillable grazing land had an increase of 29 percent to $550 per acre. Hayland had the largest increase of any land class in the Panhandle with a change of 31 percent from 2013 to 2014, resulting in an average hayland value of $1,025 per acre.

Cash Rental Rates

Cash rental rates were also reported in the Nebraska Farm Real Estate Highlights. Panhandle dryland cropland saw no increase in rental rate over 2013, remaining at an average of $40 per acre. Gravity-irrigated cropland reported an average cash rate of $145 per acre.

Declining center-pivot cash rental rates was a trend across the state, according to the report. In the Panhandle, center-pivot cash rates decreased 11 percent from 2013 to an average of $200 per acre. Statewide center-pivot rates declined 3 percent.

Pasture rental rates across the state increased an average of 19 percent. However, in the Panhandle they declined 23 percent, to an average rate of $10 per acre. Cow-calf and stocker rates across the state rose to record highs. The average cow-calf pair rate for the Panhandle was reported by the survey at $32.30 per pair. Average stocker rates (500- to 600-pound) were reported at $26.60 per head for the Panhandle.

Agricultural land values and rental rates in the "Nebraska Farm Real Estate Highlights 2013-2014" report represent averages for different regions of the state. Actual agricultural land values or rental rates for an individual parcel in Nebraska will vary from reported figures depending on quality attributes and local market forces of the area. To see the full report visit http://agecon.unl.edu/realestate.html.

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