The value of "good" agricultural farmland across the central Corn Belt declined 3% in 2015, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The bank's quarterly survey found farmland values slipped 1% lower during the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter.
Leading the decline is Iowa, which is down 5% on an annual basis and down 3% on a quarterly basis. Illinois and Indiana report an annual decline of 4% with Illinois down 1% on a quarterly basis and Indiana down 2% on a quarterly basis. Michigan is down 2% on an annual basis but up 1% on a quarterly basis while Wisconsin is up up 2% on an annual basis and 2% on a quarterly basis.
This year's 3% decrease equals the 3% decline found by the bank survey in 2014. The two consecutive declines mark the first since the mid-1980s.
When adjusted for inflation, the district-wide decrease in farmland values for 2015 was actually smaller than the one for 2014 (because the inflation rate was lower in 2015), the bank notes. "Put in real terms, the decrease in the district’s farmland values from their peak in 2013 to 2015 was 7.5%. However, in 2015 the index of inflation-adjusted farmland values for the district was still 331 percent higher than at its trough in 1986." the bank states.