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Farm and Ranch Land Values Rise



Despite expectations of falling land values over the past few surveys, quality farmland values rose 3.4% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the latest Agricultural Finance Monitor published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.


Ranchland or pastureland values increased by 6.5% in the fourth quarter after increasing 1.5% in the third quarter. Cash rents for quality farmland rose 2.9% in the fourth quarter, following a 2% gain in the third quarter. Cash rents for ranchland or pastureland rose by 1.3%, after increasing by 0.8% in the third quarter.


At the same time, lenders continue to report declines in farm income relative to a year earlier. The current index value marks the 20th consecutive quarter with a value below 100. Results above 100 indicate proportionately more bankers report higher income compared with the same quarter a year ago, while results lower than 100 indicate proportionately more bankers report lower income from a year earlier.


The fourth-quarter index value for farm income was 41. Expectations for farm income in the first quarter of 2019 were slightly more optimistic with an index value of 48.

The survey was conducted from Dec. 15-31 last year. The results are based on responses from 22 agricultural banks within the boundaries of the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all or parts of: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. -- Cattle Current.


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