Federal Reserve Surveys Show Decline in Land Values, Farm Incomes

David Nicklaus reported earlier this month at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Online that, “Farm incomes and farmland prices both fell in the fourth quarter of 2016, a survey by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank finds.

“The Fed polled agricultural bankers in its district, which covers all of Arkansas and parts of six other midwestern and southern states. The bankers estimated that prices of crop land fell 8 percent last year while the value of pasture or ranch property fell 3.5 percent.

The survey showed a decline in farm income for the 12th straight quarter. The bankers also said farmers cut back their household and capital spending in response to lower crop prices.”

Mr. Nicklaus added that, “The Fed also asked questions about the market for farmland. Bankers said they expected the volume of land sales to be about the same this year as it was in 2016. Sixty-nine percent of bankers said the majority of land sold in their area was purchased by farmers, as opposed to investors or developers.”

For a more detailed recap of the St. Louis Fed report, as well as other ag survey reports from the Chicago and Kansas City Fed, see this FarmPolicyNews update from earlier this week.

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