The stronger land prices of late 2021 have continued higher during the first months of 2022. After a calmer period at the start of the year; the land market remained firmer. Sale prices took another jump higher as a result of the outbreak of war in Ukraine and on-going inflation fears.
Farmers saw higher commodity prices and investors wanted a low-risk inflation hedging investment which together propelled the competition for good cropland.
Recent Farmers National Company auction sales demonstrate the strength in the land market so far in 2022. In February, Farmers National Company sold six tracts of Western Indiana land comprising 550 acres for $16,600 per acre. In early March, four tracts of Eastern Illinois land totaling 320 acres sold between $19,100 to $19,700 per acre.
At the end of March, a company auction saw three tracts of Central Illinois land sell for $20,500 to $21,500 per acre. In the fall of 2021, prime Illinois farmland was selling in the range of $16,000 plus per acre. Twenty percent higher puts top selling prices today in the $19,000 to $20,000 range.
Land prices are going up in other grain belt states too. A Farmers National Company online auction set what probably is a record land price for the state of North Dakota at $12,500 per acre. Sales in nearby South Dakota and Minnesota have gone over $12,000 to $15,000 per acre for good cropland. A good cropland farm in Northwest Missouri recently sold at a Farmers National Company auction for $14,600 per acre, far above expectations.
These are just a few examples of the strength in prices for good farmland since the first of the year. With the advent of spring planting and tending of the new crop, farmland sales typically slow for a few months. What happens with the Ukrainian situation, grain prices, oil prices, food supplies, and inflation will determine where land prices go over the next six months.