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USDA Average County Rents Published in September

By David Bau, Extension Educator

The National Agricultural Statistic Service with the USDA released the county farmland rental rate estimates for 2017.  After increasing continuously since 2007, statewide average rents went down for the third year in a row. The state average cropland rental rates declined from $185 in 2014 to $180 in 2015 to $170 in 2016 to $166 in 2017, as indicated in Chart 1 below.  This represented a 2.4% decrease from 2016 to 2017 and 5.5% decrease from 2015 to 2016 and 2.7% decrease from 2014 to 2015  Previously rental rates had a 4.5% increase from 2013 to 2014, 18% from 2012 to 2013 and 11.1% from 2011 to 2012.

Statewide Irrigated rental rates declined from $210 in 2015 to $185 in 2017 almost a 12% drop.

Pasture rent average increased from $26 per acre in 2014 to $28 per acre in 2015 to $30 in 2016 and 2017 or an increase of 7.1%.
Cash Rent Per Acre - Minnesota 2008-2017

Table 1 below lists the actual farmland rental rates by county from Adult Farm Management Records.  Since farmers and landlords are starting to negotiate 2018 farmland rental rates and the last actual numbers available are for 2016, I have listed estimated rental figures for 2017 and 2018.  For 2017 I heard many times, that rents were down $10 to $20 per acre, although some rents went up and some remained the same.  In Table 1 below, I estimated a 2.5% decline in 2017 from 2016. What direction should 2018 farmland rental rates go?  In the table is an estimated 2.5% decline in rental rates from 2017 to 2018 due the continued decline in corn prices.

The column third from the right in bold is the latest 2017 USDA county estimate.  Property taxes increase although assessed values are starting to decrease and the Minnesota legislature passed a subsidy to offset some school referendum costs. Profits continue being squeezed by low commodity prices that do not cover all of their costs.

It will be a very challenging year for both the landlord and farmer to determine where the 2018 farmland rental rate should be? Up? Down? or Constant?

Table 1


Average County Farmland Rental Rates from 2007 to 2017

County 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 USDA
2017
2017 Est. 2018
Est.
Blue Earth 163 171 174 194 222 229 240 228 221 232 215 210
Brown 133 148 154 173 207 208 211 205 210 197 205 200
Cottonwood 143 139 148 164 174 196 200 192 196 202 191 186
Jackson 146 145 157 167 209 219 223 213 214 202 209 203
Lincoln 120 152 163 167 168 165 168 159 155 171 151 147
Lyon 119 137 140 168 185 218 223 222 197 183 192 187
Martin 133 158 177 181 210 254 274 272 255 242 230 213
Murray 120 143 154 168 237 265 268 238 230 177 224 219
Nobles 132 140 146 168 182 207 202 200 201 189 196 191
Pipestone 110 121 136 150 223 219 236 213 229 180 223 217
Redwood 122 140 158 173 187 211 213 207 198 187 193 188
Rock 153 168 180 193 232 202 205 195 190 212 185 180
Watonwan 148 146 165 177 218 256 239 238 225 213 219 214

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