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Farmland Sales Decline Slightly in Minnesota in 2014

By David Bau, Extension Educator

Minnesota farmland sales for 2014 are available at Land Economics website thanks to University of Minnesota Professor Steve Taff who updated the information before his recent retirement.   Minnesota average sale price was $5,109 in 2014 down 1 percent from an average sale price of $5,165 in 2013.  The average sales price was $4,222 in 2012.  The Minnesota average for prior years was: $3,667 in 2011, $3,517 in 2010 and $3,420 in 2009.  The upward trend was broken slightly in 2014 the first decline in recent years.

Record corn and soybean prices and corresponding profits in recent years can explain the rapid rise in farmland sale prices.  Now much lower corn and soybean prices can explain the falling farmland sale prices as farmer profits have declined.  Since the June 30th crop report corn and soybean prices have moved higher but are still below the level for many farmers to reach their breakeven prices.

If you want to see what farmland sales took place in the county and township where your land located,  you can go to the Land Economics website.  Here you will find information by county or township from 1990 through 2014 at: then choosing Farmland Sales and selecting your counties you are interested in.

At this website you can find the assessors’ estimated market value data from last spring.  This lists the 2015 estimated values.  The data is provided by the Minnesota Department of Revenue staff.  Keep in mind that this represents estimates by the county assessors, not actual sales.  It can be found under the “Land Values” tab on the website.

The data can be broken down by township or by whole county and provides information on class 2a agricultural land values per acre, class 2b rural land value per acre, class 2a tillable value per acre, class 2b timber value per acre, class 2c timber value per acre, class 2a ag preserve value per acre, class 2b ag preserve value per acre, green acres market value per acre and green acres taxable value per acre.  This information is not available in each category for every county and township, but lists them when available.

I complete a survey of bare farmland sales in 14 Southwestern counties and the average sale price declined to $7,556 in 2014 from $8,466 in 2013.  This was the first average decline since 1999.

Recent reports from assessor indicate assessed values will go down in 2016.  But the assessed values and farmland sale prices are both dependent on what direction the corn and soybean prices take and if farmers are able to generate profits at the prices offered.

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