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Farm Rent Up In SE Iowa

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The cost to rent farmland in southeast Iowa has increased substantially in the last five years.  The increases have been even higher statewide.

Iowa State University's annual cash rent survey shows rents in the southeast part of the state increased about $55/acre.

2010 data from the USDA shows the average farm in Iowa was about 340 acres.  That means a farm of that size would have seen the rent price increase by about $18,000 over the last five years.

Jim Jensen is a farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension.

He said rents could have risen even more if not for the weather conditions late last summer when rental rates are calculated.

"At that time, if you remember, we were looking at the heart of the drought and things were looking pretty poor and I think that a lot of rents did not get raised last year that would have gotten raised if they would have been done in the later fall after we found out that really the crop wasn't too bad," Jensen said.

The USDA anticipates corn will be planted on more acres, nationwide, this year.

Jensen said along with more rain this year, we may be looking at record corn production which would drive down crop prices and keep rents from rising dramatically.

Scott Stuntz is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.