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Iowa cropland rent rates hold steady in 2024

Iowa cropland rent rates hold steady in 2024

By Andi Anderson

Cash rent rates for Iowa cropland have not increased for the first time in five years, holding steady at an average of $279 per acre for corn and soybeans. This information comes from the latest land rent survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Alejandro Plastina, an associate professor and extension economist at Iowa State University, explains that the stagnant rental rates are a result of increasingly tight profit margins for farmers.

He notes a significant drop in the rate of return to farmers, decreasing from approximately 10% to 2% from December 2022 to December 2023. Plastina suggests that unless there is an uptick in commodity prices, rental rates are likely to remain steady or potentially decrease.

The survey also covers rental rates for other types of agricultural land including hay, pastureland, and oats. Rates for established alfalfa are reported at $200 per acre, grass hay at $145 per acre, and oats at $198 per acre.

Pastureland rental rates vary based on productivity, with highly productive pasture renting for $95 per acre and less productive pasture for $60 per acre.

Regionally, six of the nine surveyed areas in Iowa reported increases in rental rates, with the highest rates in the northwest at $304 per acre and northeast at $309 per acre. The lowest rates were found in the south-central region at $231 per acre.

This extensive survey, which drew nearly 1,300 responses from a diverse group of agricultural professionals and covered 1.7 million cash-rented acres, is available in the May edition of Ag Decision Maker.

It serves as an important resource for those involved in land-rent negotiations, complementing other sources of information to ensure fair and informed rental agreements. Plastina encourages stakeholders to consider multiple factors and data sources when establishing land rent contracts.

Photo Credit:gettyimages-brian-brown

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