Farmland values are expected to remain stable in 2019, despite uncertainty caused by lower commodity prices and farm incomes over the past five years, Farmers National said after looking at recent trends in its 28-state service area. Prices have been buoyed by the low supply of land for sale, strong cash rental rates, and historically low interest rates. “Even though the rate of bankruptcies and forced land sales is low, there is the expectation that numbers will increase somewhat in the year ahead as farmers’ cash flows are stressed,” said Randy Dickhut, Farmers National’s senior vice president of real estate operations. He added that there has also been an increase in the number of quiet sales between neighbors or investors that does not allow the land to be exposed to the market to see what the value is. "The ultimate question here is how many more properties for sale can the market handle before the volume overwhelms the number of buyers and puts downward pressure on land prices,” Dickhut said. In Kansas, where land was valued at $4,500/acre in 2017 and $4,000/acre last year, Farmers National sees the price dropping to $3,800 in 2019. In Iowa, the price is expected to fall from $10,500 last year to $9,750 this year. In Washington, growers can anticipate a 3 percent drop, to $13,000, which is nonetheless still above 2017’s price of $12,500 an acre. Nebraska growers can expect to see their second year of decreases, from $9,000 last year to $8,500 in 2019. For more information on prices per acre in Farmers National's service area, click here.

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