A federal report ranks Nebraska sixth in the nation in average cash rent for farmland at $196 per acre.
Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist Jay Rempe says he was surprised which region of the state had the highest levels.
“Northeast Nebraska came out on top in terms of the levels of both irrigated ground and non-irrigated ground for cash rental values,” Rempe says. “Several of them on the irrigated side exceeded $300 per acre and on the non-irrigated side, up at $260-270, around that level.”
The report from the USDA National Ag Statistics Service says Cedar County topped the list for irrigated land at $324 an acre, while Dakota County led the way for non-irrigated land at $271 an acre.
Rempe says those cash rents are pretty tough on farmers who are facing another year of lower commodity prices. He expects some renegotiation on rates.
“They just can’t stay at the levels they’re at and have people stay in business or stay viable,” Rempe says. “We’re going to see some pull back off of that. It’s just a matter of how much.”
Rempe says the ag economy has been difficult on landowners as well as farmers, but he’s hoping they’ll be able to work something out.
“We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls from landowners that realize the commodity prices are tough but they’re looking at increased costs as well with property taxes and the like,” Rempe says. “A lot of times, these relationships go on for many years and they’ll sit down, talk it through and try to lay out a plan for the next few years.”
The nationwide average for cash rents was $136 per acre, which was down 6% from last year.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton