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Recent USDA Reports Provide Perspective on the U.S. Farm Economy

Recent reports from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) regarding farmland values, cash rental rates, production expenses, and farm prices provide perspective on the current state of the U.S. farm economy.

On Friday, in its annual Land Values Summary, NASS indicated that, “The United States farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $3,380 per acre for 2021, up $220 per acre (7.0 percent) from 2020.”

Land Values 2021 Summary (August 2021). USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

With respect to cropland, the report stated that, “The United States cropland value averaged $4,420 per acre, an increase of $320 per acre (7.8 percent) from the previous year.”

Land Values 2021 Summary (August 2021). USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Friday’s report added that, “The United States pasture value averaged $1,480 per acre, an increase of $80 per acre (5.7 percent) from 2020.”

Land Values 2021 Summary (August 2021). USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

An update Friday from the NASS Upper Midwest Regional Field Office stated that, “Iowa’s farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $7,740 per acre in 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Land Values 2021 Summary. This is up $670 per acre, 9% above last year’s value.

Cropland, at $7,810 per acre, was up $640 from last year. Pasture, at $3,020 per acre, was up $330 from last year.”

Iowa Ag News – Land Values. Upper Midwest Regional Field Office. USDA- NASS (August 6, 2021).

NASS also updated its Quick Stats Database for Cash Rents by State on Friday.

An update Friday from the NASS Upper Midwest Regional Field Office stated that, “Cropland cash rent paid to Iowa landlords in 2021 averaged $233.00 per acre according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Non-irrigated cropland rent averaged $233.00 per acre, up $3.00 from last year.

Iowa Ag News – Cash Rent. Upper Midwest Regional Field Office. USDA- NASS (August 6, 2021).

Irrigated cropland rent averaged $229.00 per acre, down $9.00 from 2020. Pasture rented for cash averaged $58.00 per acre, up $4.00 from the previous year.”

And late last month, in its Farm Production Expenditures Annual Summary, NASS indicated that, “Farm production expenditures in the United States are estimated at $366.2 billion for 2020, up from $357.8 billion in 2019. The 2020 total farm production expenditures are up 2.3 percent compared with 2019 total farm production expenditures.”

Farm Production Expenditures 2020 Summary (July 2021). USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“In 2020, the United States total farm expenditure average per farm is $182,130, up 2.6 percent from $177,564 in 2019,” the report said.

Additional charts regarding farm production expenditures from NASS can be found here.

The NASS Upper Midwest Regional Field Office noted in a release last month that, “Iowa farm production expenditures totaled $28.5 billion in 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Farm Production Expenditures 2020 Summary report. This was $1.85 billion less than the 2019 total expenditures.”

Iowa Ag News – Farm Production Expenditures. Upper Midwest Regional Field Office. USDA- NASS (July 30, 2021).

Meanwhile, in its monthly Agricultural Prices report in July, NASS pointed out that, “The corn price, at $6.00 per bushel, is up 9 cents from last month and $2.84 from June 2020.”

Agricultural Prices (July 2021). USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The report added that, “The soybean price, at $14.50 per bushel, is 30 cents lower than May but $6.16 higher than June a year earlier.”

Agricultural Prices (July 2021). USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The NASS Upper Midwest Regional Field Office noted in a release last month that, “The average price received by farmers for corn during June in Iowa was $6.19 per bushel according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Agricultural Prices report. This was up 16 cents from the May price and $3.08 above June 2020.

Iowa Ag News – Monthly Prices. Upper Midwest Regional Field Office. USDA- NASS (July 30, 2021).

“The June 2021 average price received by farmers for soybeans, at $14.70 per bushel, was down $0.10 from the May price but $6.43 above the June 2020 price.”

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Keith Good

Keith Good is the social media manager for the farmdoc project at the University of Illinois. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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