Agriculture statistics: Cropland cash rents up 2 percent

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WASHINGTON – Cash rents paid to landlords for agricultural real estate were mixed during the 2003 crop year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Cropland cash rents paid in 2003 increased 2 percent from a year earlier, advancing to $73 per acre, compared with a revised $71.60 per acre for 2002.

The increase in cropland rental rates was modest, reflecting producers’ attitudes toward the combination of slightly reduced production levels of major U.S. crops in 2002 and higher, though still historically low, commodity prices.

The Corn Belt and Northern Plains regions, which together account for nearly one half of cash rented cropland acreage, both increased 2 percent from 2002.

Prices. Cropland cash rents increased $2 per acre, to $110, in the Corn Belt and $1 per acre, to $48, in the Northern Plains.

Overall, cropland rental rates increased in eight of the 10 regions, while rental rates in the Southeast region fell 2 percent to $44 per acre. Rental rates in the Pacific region remained unchanged at $180 per acre.

Top three. The major corn and soybean producing states of Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa experienced increases ranging from 1 percent to 2 percent for cropland cash rents.

Of the three states, Illinois had the highest cash rent, at $123 per acre, but experienced the smallest rental increase from 2002 of $1 per acre.

Iowa cropland rents increased $2 per acre, to $122.

Three of the four states in the Northern Plains region showed increases in cropland cash rents, led by South Dakota’s $3-per-acre increase in non-irrigated cropland. Kansas cropland rents remained unchanged at $39 per acre.

Pasture rents. U.S. pasture cash rents dropped 2 percent, from $9.20 per acre in 2002 to $9 per acre in 2003.

Pasture cash rents reflected the drought-reduced forage production of pastures and range lands in major livestock-grazing states.

Shifts in cash rented acreage from higher valued regions to lower valued regions also contributed to lower U.S. pasture cash rents, despite per acre increases in five of the 10 regions and no change in two of the remaining five regions.

Other regions. Pasture cash rents fell in the Delta, Mountain, and Pacific regions, and were unchanged in the Corn Belt and Appalachian regions.

Wisconsin continued to lead the nation with the highest pasture rent, at $36 per acre, despite relatively weak milk prices.

Sharp decreases in many areas of the Mountain region offset increases in parts of the Northern and Southern Plains.

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