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Minnesota ag land prices, rents flat or slightly down

Erin Brown/Grand Vale Creative

The Minnesota Chapter of the American Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers this week released its 2017 member report of actual cropland sales and rental transactions, with values holding steady, but not declining despite continued low commodity prices.

The survey includes data from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017, omitting "non-typical" transactions. In the state report, chapter President Adam Schmidt, of Northfield, Minn., says land prices and cash rents generally "held steady" in 2017.

"Even though the market overall was flat, it continues a trend of stronger prices for high-quality land and softer prices for more marginal land," Schmidt says.

Most areas of the state had a third consecutive year of above-average yields, "which is unprecedented," the report says. Members tell Agweek that reporting and research methods had improved from the previous year.

Here are selected results. (Note: Mean average is the total price divided by number of sales; median average is the middle price reported among all sales.)

Northwest

Sales — The chapter's Region 7 includes 15 counties from Kittson and Lake of the Woods to Clay and Cass counties in the south. 2017 yields ranged from strong to marginal, with 11 of the counties showed 10 or fewer transactions and six had five or fewer sales.

"Thin supply has kept sale prices of good quality land fairly stable in recent years despite commodity prices," the regional report says.

Clay County showed 39 transactions ranging from $1,240 to $5,385 per acre — the highest mean average $3,949 and highest median average at $4,001. The trend was "slightly higher" than the 2016 report, which showed 16 transactions ranging from $2,612 to $4,911 per acre and an average of $3,762 per acre.

Norman County had 18 transactions ranging from $3,133 to $5,000, with mean average of $3,776 and median average of $3,648.

Polk County showed 26 transactions with ranging from $1,263 per acre to $5,521 per acre, with a mean average of $3,518 per acre, and median average of $4,001 per acre. The trend was "slightly lower" than 2016, when seven sales averaged $4,577 per acre.

Marshall County had 22 transactions, ranging from $949 an acre to $3,861 per acre, with mean at $2,358 and median at $2,507.

Cash rent — Cropland cash rents were highest in Clay County, ranging from $98 to $225 per acre, and "stable." Other counties: Norman, $115 to $150 per acre and stable. Polk, $60 to $185 per acre, slightly lower; Marshall, $80 to $145, slightly lower; Kittson, $110 per acre low and high, stable.

West Central

Sales — Region 6 includes 15 counties, from Wilkin to Big Stone on the west and Mille Lacs and Sherburne in the east. The region didn't show the number of qualified sales for each county.

Wilkin County showed a range of sales from $3,800 per acre to $6,800 per acre, but didn't show a mean or median average.

Traverse had a range of sales from $4,500 to $6,000 per acre but only showed a mean average of $5,800 and no median.

Big Stone reported only a mean average land value of $5,000 per acre, but didn't indicate a range.

Stevens County reported the highest mean average of $7,500 per acre for land sales but didn't show a range or median. Stearns County land sales ranged from $2,800 to $6,900 per acre — with a mean average of $4,900 per acre and a median of $5,000 per acre.

Grant County showed a range of $4,500 to $6,900 per acre in sales. Wilkin showed a range of $3,800 to $6,800 per acre.

Cash Rent — Cropland rent trends were generally stable. Selected counties include Wilkin, $150 per acre to $200 per acre; Traverse, $150 to $200; Big Stone, $140 to $175. Highest rates were reported in Stevens, $175 per acre to $250 per acre; Grant, $150 to $225 per acre; and Stearns, $90 to $225 per acre.

Central

Sales — Region 4 includes nine counties from Swift County in the west to Nicollet in the southeast to Wright in the northeast, including the sugar beet areas in the Renville, Minn., area. Sales activity and trends were stable.

Of the selected counties, Renville County had the most activity with 34 sales, ranging from $5,200 per acre to $9,792 per acre, with mean average of $7,520 per acre and median of $7,300 per acre.

Nicollet County had eight transactions, ranging from $3,928 per acre to $8,500 per acre, a mean average of $7,000 and median average of $7,500 an acre.

Kandiyohi County had 16 transactions ranging from $3,600 per acre to $9,169 per acre, with mean average at $6,225 per acre and median at $6,185 per acre.

Cash Rent — Rent rates were "slightly lower," with Renville County values ranging from $180 per acre to $315 per acre; Sibley County, $200 per acre to $310 per acre; and Kandiyohi, $140 per acre to $300 per acre.

Southwest

Sales — Region 1 includes 11 counties. 2017 included "early, often and excess precipitation" with "tough and delayed planting conditions." Harvest included rain and cold. Despite that, overall corn yields ranged from 10 percent lower to 10 percent higher than the previous two years. Soybeans were 5 percent to 10 percent lower. Redwood, Cottonwood and Jackson counties reported slightly higher cropland sales prices. PIpestone, Rock and Nobles showed lower or slightly lower prices.

Rock County reported 13 sales ranging from $5,051 per acre to $14,325 per acre, for a mean average of $8,581 and median of $8,299, with stable activity but lower prices.

Nobles County had 18 sales ranging from $4,865 to $11,776, with a mean average of $7,679 and median of $7,430 per acre.

Jackson County reported 17 sales ranging from $5,086 to $9,230 per acre, and a mean of $7,586 per acre and median of $7,856.

Cash rent — All counties reported steady to slightly lower cash rents. Rock County showed lows ranging from $200 to $235 per acre and highs ranging from $235 to $325 per acre. Redwood had lows of $200 and highs of $300, as did Cottonwood County.

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