Wisconsin Farmland Worth 10% More Than in 2020

survey of Midwest farm bankers found Wisconsin farmland values are up 10 percent from the same period in 2020.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago surveyed 151 bankers in their district, which includes Iowa and parts of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

The bankers reported the value of good quality farmland across the region had increased by 6 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter of this year. Compared to the third quarter of 2020, bankers reported that land values were up 18 percent.

In Wisconsin, surveyed bankers reported land values were up 1 percent from the previous quarter and 10 percent from the same time last year.

David Oppedahl, senior business economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said the value of land started increasing last fall as the agriculture industry recovered from the initial shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past year, there have been additional increases in income from both government support programs as well as higher prices for a lot of commodities. So it’s really helped to shore up the finances and provide extra income that’s being used, as well as low interest rates to help support farmland values,” Oppedahl said.

Wisconsin bankers reported a smaller increase in land values than neighboring states like Iowa, where survey respondents reported land values 28 percent higher than in 2020.

Oppedahl said the state’s farm industry includes a wider variety of commodities, meaning land values aren’t as closely tied to corn and soybean prices. He said that also means Wisconsin didn’t see as large of a decline in land values in recent years when those prices fell.

“The more diverse nature of agriculture in Wisconsin and the desirability of areas for rural living have made Wisconsin’s farmland retain its value a little more,” Oppedahl said. “Wisconsin hasn’t increased as rapidly because it’s already at a relatively high level compared to its historical averages.”