The USDA says farm real estate values are higher than last year. From 2017, the value of farms, including land and buildings, is up $60 an acre, according to USDA Deputy Chief Economist Warren Preston. But there’s surprisingly little movement on cash rents, said Preston.
“Cropland cash rents increased just a dollar an acre from $137 per acre last year up to $138 per acre for all acreage in 2018,” said Preston, in an interview provided by the USDA.
Producers have also been spending more to operate farms. Preston cites a separate USDA report that farm production spending was higher this past year.
“Farm production expenditures in the U.S. are estimated at almost $360 billion for 2017,” said Preston, “and that’s up from almost $345 billion in 2016.”
The largest 2017 spending increase was on feed, according to agency data, which is up more than 15 percent from the previous year.