Farmland Cash Tent Tops $200 An Acre in 79 Counties
By George Ford, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Cash rent for Iowa cropland jumped again this year, according to a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The average cash rent statewide is $235 per acre, an increase of $39 from $194 per acre in 2011. Average cash rent of $200 per acre or more was recorded in 79 counties this year, compared with 31 counties in 2011.
Jim Rebhuhn, manager of the Hertz Farm Management office in Mount Vernon, said several factors account for the increase in the average cash rent.
"What we're seeing is stability in input expenses," said Rebhuhn, an accredited farm manager. "Fertilizer is kind of changing a little bit here or there, but seed and herbicide expense has been fairly flat over the last few years."
Rebhuhn said the USDA survey mirrors Iowa State University Extension's annual cash rental rate survey released in May.
"The average cash rent for the state in the ISU Extension survey was $252 an acre, up from $214 in 2011," Rebhuhn said.
"I think it's a function of profitability. As long as we have higher commodity prices to support good net income, we will see higher cash rents and higher land prices."
Corn prices have flirted with $8 per bushel and soybean prices are hovering around $17 per bushel as the markets react to the drought and a potentially smaller harvest.
While average yields for this year's corn and soybean crops are expected to be significantly lower due to the drought, Rebhuhn said crop insurance likely will limit losses for many farmers.
"A high percentage of producers have crop insurance and even if they have significantly lower yields, they may still hold their own in terms of net income," he said. "In some cases, depending on how severe the loss is, they well be locking in a profit.
The USDA survey found the average cash rent in Linn County is $228 per acre , up from $181 in 2011. In Johnson County, average cash rent for cropland is $211 per acre, compared with $174 in 2011.
Grundy County has the highest average cash rent in the state at $299 per acre, up from $234 in 2011. Close behind is Hamilton County with an average cash rent of $277 per acre, compared with $235 last year.
The central region of Iowa has the highest average cash rent at $257 per acre, up from $212 in 2011. The south central area of Iowa has the lowest average cash rent of $173 per acre, compared with $157 last year.
Cash rent paid for pasture in Iowa, at $46 per acre, was unchanged from 2011.
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