The Federal Reserve Bank of
Chicago said today that growth in Midwest farmland values is slowing, with the
average price increasing 5 percent last year, the smallest gain since 2009 and
the second-lowest gain of the past decade. The average price of Iowa farmland
dropped 2 percent, according to the report, which is based on a survey of 186
bankers in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Iowa was the only
state to experience a drop in land prices over the year. A decline in corn and
soybean prices accounted for the drop in land values, according to the report.
"A majority of respondents anticipated farmland values to remain stable
during the January through March period of 2014, but the rest of the
respondents' expectations tilted toward decreases in farmland values during
this period," according to the report, which also said that credit conditions
worsened in the fourth quarter of 2013, especially in Iowa and Wisconsin.