As we progress through the second quarter of 2019, farmers have commenced field work and are prepared for planting season. Although commodity prices have not increased from the previous five years, land value trends appear to have stabilized over the last twelve months. From the first quarter of 2016 through the fourth quarter of 2017, land values across the State of Iowa trended upwards. However, data provided by the Peoples Company Appraisal Team indicated the trend shifted and showed a decline from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the second quarter of 2018. It appears to have leveled off from the second quarter of 2018 through the first quarter of 2019. As illustrated in the chart below, the average $/CSR2 was $111 in the second quarter of 2018 and $113 in the first quarter of 2019. This dataset includes tillable farms that sold at public auction and are 85% tillable row crop acres or greater.
*$/CSR2 is calculated as follows: Sale Price / Tillable Acres / CSR2 Rating
Our team has been actively monitoring the auction calendar and gauging the activity at public auctions. The inventory of farms that are publicly available purchase, both through auction and private treaty, continues to be low which has supported the stability of land values. Land values for recreational tracts and pasture tracts continue to be stable and have had little fluctuation in recent years.