AgLetter: May 2008
Farmland cash rental rates in the Seventh Federal Reserve District soared higher this year compared with those in 2007, rising 21 percent. But the year-over-year increase in District farmland values eased to 14 percent in the first quarter of 2008. A survey of 240 bankers in the Seventh District on April 1, 2008, indicated a slower quarterly increase of 2 percent in the value of “good” agricultural land. Almost half of the bankers expected increases in land values for the second quarter of 2008; nearly half expected stable land values; and only 2 percent expected decreases. In addition, two-thirds of the respondents reported that the demand to purchase farmland exceeded the demand of the winter and early spring a year ago.