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Iowa Cash Rents Reach New Heights, Setting Record Average in 2023
Iowa Ag Connection - 05/26/2023

According to a recent survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension, Iowa's cash rental rates for farmland have surged to a new record high in 2023. The survey, which gathered insights from farmers, landowners, bankers, and farm managers, highlights a remarkable 9% increase, pushing the average cash rent to an unprecedented $279 per acre. This figure surpasses the previous record of $270 per acre set back in 2013.

The survey further illuminates a widespread trend of escalating cash rental rates, with 91 out of the 99 Iowa counties experiencing an upswing in average rents for corn and soybeans. Not surprisingly, high-quality land witnessed the most significant surge, jumping 11.1% to $297 per acre, while medium and low-quality land followed suit with increases of 8.6% and 6%, respectively.

While this remarkable growth reflects the current market conditions, potential headwinds loom on the horizon. Lower projected crop prices and persistent input inflation in 2024 may result in reduced net farm income, potentially exerting downward pressure on cash rents.

As land values have also witnessed notable increases in recent years, future cash rent growth may be tempered. However, factors such as high interest rates, aimed at curbing inflationary risks, could sustain the opportunity cost of holding farmland as an investment vehicle.

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