Chicago Fed says Q1 farmland values and credit remained high

The Chicago Fed is reporting a rise in farmland values and farmer credit conditions in the first quarter.

Senior business economist David Oppedahl tells Brownfield values for the first three months of the year were up 23 percent compared to last year and the strongest in nearly a decade.

“The increase in commodity prices has been a big part of it,” he says.  “It’s helped to shore up cash flow in the net farm income, but then also the continued low-interest rates.”

Oppedahl says values remain the strongest in the “I” states.

Farmland values in Iowa increased 28 percent compared to the first quarter of 2021, while Indiana was up 23 percent, followed by Illinois, up 18 percent, and Wisconsin up 13 percent.

The survey also found the index of repayment rates for non-real-estate farm loans reached the highest level in its history going back to 1970 for the first quarter.

“It’s a period where the working capital has been plentiful and that’s helped to lower the demand for some of the operating loans in particular,” he says.

Nearly half of ag bankers in their survey expect farmland values to remain elevated in the next quarter as well but Oppedahl says rising costs remain a longer-term concern.

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