Average Ohio farm values up 3.7 percent

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COLUMBUS – Ohio’s farm real estate value, including all land buildings, averaged $2,800 per acre Jan. 1, 2003, up 3.7 percent from the year before, according to the most recent data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The increase during 2002 was driven by the 3.6 percent increase in cropland and the 5.3 percent increase in pasture.

Real estate values. Nationally, farm real estate values, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $1,270 per acre as of Jan. 1, 2003, up 5 percent from the previous year.

The value of farm real estate increased in all states except Kansas, where values remained at 2002 levels.

The $60 per acre increase in farm real estate values continued an upward trend that began in 1987.

The increase in all land and buildings followed the trend of cropland and pasture values, which rose by 4.2 and 5.1 percent, respectively, from Jan. 1, 2002.

Driven by low interest. Cropland values averaged $1,720 per acre and pasture values averaged $618 per acre on Jan. 1, 2003, compared with $1,650 and $588 per acre, respectively, a year earlier.

The increases in farm real estate and the cropland and pasture components were largely, though not entirely, driven by low interest rates and poor returns for alternative assets.

The certainty of government commodity programs also lent support to some agricultural land.

Also, potential for nonagricultural uses contributed to strong increases, especially for pasture values.

Income mixed. Income from crop and livestock commodities was mixed, providing limited support for farm real estate values in some areas, while creating a slight drag on values in other areas.

Regional increases in the average value of farm real estate ranged from 3.4 percent in the Pacific region to 7.6 percent in the Lake region.

The highest farm real estate values were in the Northeast region, where urban influences drove the average value to $2,950 per acre.

In the Appalachian and Southeast regions, where urban and recreational influences are increasing, farm real estate values rose 7.1 percent to $2,420 per acre.

The Mountain region, with its expanse of pasture and rangeland, has the lowest farm real estate value, at $526 per acre.

Cropland values rose 4.7 percent, to $2,450 per acre, in the Corn Belt and 2.6 percent, to $738 per acre, in the Northern Plains.

Together these regions account for about one-half of the U.S. total cropland acres.

Highest values. The highest average cropland values, at $3,720 per acre, are in the Pacific region, where a significant portion of the cropland is irrigated.

Dollar values and percentage increases of farm real estate, cropland, and pasture for states along the East Coast and Great Lakes are the largest in the country.

Despite severe agricultural drought in several of these states, price competition from rapid urbanization and development has more than offset any downward pressures on land values due to poor agricultural returns.

Land use. Pasture values, in particular, outpace those of cropland in many of these states, mainly due to its greater appeal and availability for development and recreation.

Cropland values varied widely across states due to geographically specific circumstances and competitive uses of land.

The impact of suburban growth and resorts contributed unevenly in rural mid-western states, influencing values in isolated areas only.

In these states, increases in cropland values were more closely tied to 2002 crop production, prices received for crops sold during 2002, and the certainty provided by government commodity programs, especially for major crops.

Ohio averages. Cropland in Ohio increased from $2,750 per acre on Jan. 1, 2002 to $2,850 per acre on Jan. 1, 2003.

Since 2000 the average value of Ohio’s cropland has gone up 18 percent.

Pasture land in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2003 averaged $2,000 per acre, up 5.3 percent from Jan. 1 2002. Since 2000, the average value of pasture land has increased 25 percent in Ohio.

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