KANSAS CITY, Mo. (NAFB) — Reports from the Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows farmland values have farmlandreceded from recent record highs as farmers are facing tighter margins. The Cash Rents and Land Values reports released Friday by USDA NASS reflect the lower commodity prices impact on agriculture.  Brad Summa serves as the NASS Heartland Region Field Office Director. Summa explains the surveys that NASS uses to compile the data.

“The first of the June area survey, which collects data on crop acreage, land use, grain stocks, and the value of agricultural land and additionally NASS recently conducted cash rent survey. Generally speaking the NASS reports are consistent with what farm economists and university experts have been saying for a while now, and that is farmers are looking at tighter margins due to declining commodity prices. This appears to be having an effect on the value of land and cash rents.”

For land values, the USDA reports found the average value of land and buildings was $3,010 per-acre in 2016, down $10 per-acre from the 2015 survey. “The highest farm real estate values were in the corn belt region at $6,290 per acre on average. The mountain region had the lowest farm real estate value of $1,110 per acre. Crop land at the U.S. level was valued at $4,090, which was down $40 or 1% from a year ago. The United States pasture value remains constant at $1,330 per acre.”

As for cash rent values, USDA found all categories of rented land were down from the 2015 levels. “All crop land was down eight dollars from $144 to $136 per acre. Irrigated crop land came down $3 from $209 to $206 per acre. Non-irrigated crop land was down $8 from $133 to $125 per acre. Pasture land rent was down $1 from an average of $14 dollars per acre in 2015 to $13 per acre in 2016.”

In the Corn Belt, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Ohio, all states saw a decrease in cash rent values, except for Ohio, where values stand constant with last year.

Summa says many groups and organizations will use the date included in the reports, but adds that data from individual farms stays private. “Bankers and agricultural lenders review this information to evaluate balance sheets of agricultural operations. The Ag economists at land grant universities will evaluate these statistics as one part of the overall health of the agricultural community. NASS goes to great lengths to protect individually reported information, and we really protect it two ways: Privately and publicly. Privately by law every individual report that NASS receives is kept strictly confidential. Publicly when we publish our data, we publish it in an aggregated manor that does not allow discovery of an individuals information.”

By working with farmers, Summa says USDA NASS is providing timely, accurate and useful statistics to agriculture. “We can’t do this without the farmers filling out our surveys. When you see a NASS envelope it contains one of the best investments you can make in your farm. We just once again want to thank all the farmers and ranchers who assisted us back in June. We value their cooperation highly. We appreciate what they’ve done for us to help provide this information to the agricultural community.”

Find the reports online at www.nass.usda.gov.