Cash rental rates up but trend is slowing

CRESCO, Iowa — Land rental rates have been pushed significantly higher by row crop prices.

The rate of increase has slowed considerably.

Results from the most recent survey of farmland rental rates carried out by Iowa State University Extension showed that the average estimated cash rent for row-crop ground for 2013 was $270 per acre, an increase of $18 per acre or 7 percent from last year. This compares to increases of 16 percent in 2011 and 18 percent in 2012.

Lower crop yields due to dry weather and lower price forecasts for the 2013 crop have tempered the optimism about prospective profits, said Kristin Schulte, Extension farm and ag business management specialist based in Cresco.

Average rents were moderately higher in all nine crop reporting districts, with increases ranging from 13 percent in east central Iowa to 4 percent in southwest Iowa.


Typical rental rates per bushel of corn and soybean yield, and corn suitability rating, point were computed for each county. In addition, typical charges for land growing oats and hay, for grazing pasture and corn stalks, and for renting hunting rights were reported.

The intent of the ISU survey is to report typical rents being paid, not the highest nor the lowest values heard through informal sources, said Schulte. Rental values were estimated by asking people familiar with land rental markets what they thought were typical rates in their county. The number of responses received was 1,703, a 20 percent increase from last year. Of the total responses, 50 percent came from farmers, 27 percent from landowners, 13 percent from professional farm managers, 8 percent from agricultural lenders and 2 percent from other professionals.

The Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2013 Survey is available online as a downloadable document from the Ag Decision Maker website and the Extension Online Store at

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