AgLetter: May 2003
Last Updated: 05/07/03
Even as farmers showed evidence of reduced farmland purchases, overall demand to purchase farmland strengthened. With nonfarm buyers filling the gap in demand, moderating rates of increase in the value of “good” agricultural land were the result, as compared with a year ago, for the Seventh Federal Reserve District. Based on a survey of 281 agricultural bankers as of April 1, 2003, the quarterly increase in farmland values slowed to 1 percent, on average, for the District as a whole. For the twelve months ending March 31, the increase was 6 percent, matching the yearover- year increase of last year. Fewer bankers expected farmland values to decline and more expected farmland values to go up in the next three months. The bankers reported that the amount of farmland for sale in recent months was about the same as last year, but the number and acreage of farms sold were slightly higher than a year earlier. Cash rental rates for farmland were above the level of a year ago, as farm operations in the District continued to shift toward cash rental arrangements.