The value of an average acre of Iowa farmland declined $310, or 3.9%, an acre to a value of $7,633 an acre, according to the 2015 Iowa Land Value Survey. The survey was conducted by Iowa State University's Extension Economist Wendong Zhang. This year's decline marks the second consecutive decrease, following an 8.9% decrease in 2014.
For the third year in a row, Scott and Decatur counties reported the highest and lowest farmland values, respectively. Decatur County reported a value per acre of $3,514, a drop of $73, or about 2%, from last year's report. Scott County reported the highest value at $10,918 per acre, however, values there declined about $700 per acre, higher than this year's statewide average, and slightly more than 6% from last year.
The largest district-wide decrease in farmland value was North Central Iowa, which reported a drop of 6.7%, bringing farmland values there down to $7,962 per acre. Mitchell and Floyd Counties, in the Northeast portion of the state, reported the largest percentage drops in value at 8.6%; and Black Hawk County, also in the Northeast district reported the largest dollar decrease with a loss of $784 per acre. The district with the highest overall farmland value is Northwest Iowa at $9,685 per acre, and the lowest is South Central at $4,397 per acre.
The value of all qualities of farmland fell across the state, with high-quality farmland losing 5% ($490 per acre) of its value, medium-quality land falling 3.2% ($232 per acre), and low-quality farmland falling 0.9% ($44 per acre). Statewide averages for high-, medium-, and low- quality farmland are now $9,364, $7,127, and $4,834 per acre, respectively.
The only district to show an increase in values as a whole was Northwest Iowa, which reported values 0.7% higher than last year. Clayton and Allamakee Counties, located in the Northeastern portion of the state, reported the largest percentage increases with a 2.9%.