Des Moines, Iowa – RadioIowa – The U-S-D-A’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) latest report shows the average amount of money farmers pay to rent land for crop production in Iowa has gone down again in 2016. The report shows that average rent for cropland in the state of Iowa dropped 15 from last year — or about six percent — to 235 dollars an acre.
The Deputy Director of NASS for the Upper Midwest Region, Doug Hartwig, says they gather information directly from the producers.
Hartwig says the reasons for that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
Hartwig says the questionnaires are sent out in February, first by the mail-out/mail-back method. For those forms NASS doesn’t receive back, they do a phone follow-up or allow producers to report the information over the internet. By the time numbers are gathered, Hartwig says it’s usually an 80 percent response rate overall.
In further detail, the report shows that the south-central region of Iowa averaged the lowest rent for cropland, at 173 dollars an acre, which is 62 dollars below the state average. The next two lowest regions were the southeast and southwest.
The average of 216 dollars an acre is notably higher than the south-central, but still lags behind the state average. The counties closer to the Missouri River showed considerably higher rent numbers. According to the report, the one county in the state with the lowest cropland rent value is Lucas County, coming in at 150 dollars an acre. The northern half of Iowa appeared to bring the overall state average up. Northwest Iowa’s Ida County had the highest average cash rent for non-irrigated cropland, at 281 dollars per acre, followed by Grundy County in northeast Iowa, at 277 dollars an acre. Individual counties are surveyed every two years, while the state average is done every year.