Each year the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA releases estimated average farm real estate values by state. The estimates are based on surveys of farmers from selected geographical areas. The surveys follow strict statistical guidelines. Estimated values maybe revised the following year based on additional information. Revisions may also be made based on data from the 5-year Census of Agriculture. The methodology and timing of the study has changed over time but the statistical information provides some insight as to the changes in farm real estate values from year to year.
In 2019, the 2017 Census of Agriculture was finalized and revisions have been made to the 2014 – 2018 data and these are the final estimates. All of the years were adjusted down with a range of 0.5% to 2.3% for an average downward adjustment of 1.4%. Table 1 shows these differences.
Average Illinois Farm Real Estate Value
The average Illinois farm real estate values from 1970 through 2019 are listed in Table 2 and graphically in Figure 1. The average farm real estate value for Illinois in 2019 was $7,280 per acre. This includes the value of all land and buildings. The figure was the same as the 2018 average of $7,280 per acre. This is the second year in a row without a decrease as experienced in the prior three years. Even with not change in the average farm real estate value in 2019, the average Illinois farm real estate value for 2019 was 54 percent higher than the 2010 value of $4,720 ten years ago.
Since 1970, average farm real estate values have declined only six times as compared to the previous year. Those years were 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 2009, 2015, 2016 and 2017. There have been four years when farm real estate values increased over 20 percent, in 1974, 1976, 1977 and 2005. The largest increase was in 1977 when values rose 37.3 percent.
From 1995 through 1999, average farm real estate values increased between 4.2% and 9% annually. From 2000 to 2004, farm real estate increased between 1.3% and 5.3%. From 2005 to 2009 the change in average farm real estate values ranged from -2.2% to 25.4%. From 2010 to 2014, the increase in farm real estate values ranged from 5.4% to 15.2%. Since 2015, the increase in farm real estate values have ranged from -1.7% to 1.7%.
The farm real estate value data is used to construct index numbers of Illinois farmland values. The index can be found at the farmdoc website: https://farmdoc.illinois.edu/handbook/index-numbers-of-illinois-farmland-values.
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