Source: Farmers National Company
Land sales activity in Iowa held even in 2018 with fairly steady prices.
“We saw a slight increase in the number of sales at Farmers National Company this past year in the state,” said Sam Kain, area sales manager. “Sale prices for good quality land were about even compared to the previous year.”
Iowa experienced a variable growing season across the state in 2018, which likely impacted the land market regionally. Parts of southern Iowa endured a dry summer while areas of northern Iowa were hit with wet weather. Both of these areas saw reduced yields that impacted the income of local farmers and their ability to make capital purchases such as land.
Even though sales activity was good through the balance of last year, Kain sees some concerns lying ahead.
“We are starting to hear more talk about financially stressed farmers in areas who may have to sell a farm or other assets to improve their financial condition. Only 3 percent of our sales last year were due to financial stress, but we may see an increase in these in 2019,” he said.
Wisconsin dairy producers are facing tough financial times due to lingering low milk prices. The state is already seeing more producers retiring or selling off assets, which indicates additional land for sale on the market.
“Many of our auctions are bringing stronger than expected prices where the bidding is active. But I am concerned that the enthusiasm of buyers is waning somewhat, which could soften our land prices. It becomes more important than ever to have an experienced company like Farmers National Company to market and sell land during times like this,” Kain said.