The USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) recently released its 2020 Land Value Report. The report shows that the U.S. farm real estate value remained the same from 2019, at $3,160/acre. The average U.S. cropland value also saw no change at $4,100/acre.
In the Delta states and the Mid-South, cropland values increased from 2019 for the most part. Arkansas irrigated cropland values saw an increase of 0.6% to $3,360/acre while non-irrigated cropland increased 1.9% to $2,100/acre. Irrigated cropland values in Mississippi experienced a 0.8% increase to $3,650/acre, and non-irrigated cropland values increased 0.4% to $2,780/acre. Missouri irrigated cropland saw a decrease of -1.5% at $4,700/acre, but non-irrigated cropland saw an increase in value of 1.5% to $3,400/acre. Tennessee cropland values increased 2.0% to $3,990/acre.
The USDA also releases annual average cash rent values on a national and per-state basis. Although it is the opinion of Glaub Farm Management that cash rents generally provide the lowest return in the Mid-South, we can use the data for benchmarking and return on investment comparison. Overall, the cash rent for cropland in the U.S. was $139/acre, which is a $1/acre decrease from 2019. This equates to 3.39% cash return. There was no appreciation recorded for 2020.
On a state-by-state basis, Arkansas irrigated cropland cash rent averaged $135/acre, which equates to a 4.0% cash return for a total return of 4.6% when appreciation is added. Arkansas non-irrigated cropland cash rent averaged $48/acre, leading to a 2.3% cash return for a total return of 4.2%. Mississippi irrigated cropland cash rent averaged $150/acre, which equates to a 4.1% cash return for a total return of 4.9%. Mississippi non-irrigated cropland cash rent averaged $87/acre with a 3.1% cash return and a 3.5% total return. Irrigated cropland cash rent in Missouri averaged $180/acre for a cash return of 3.8%. The total return sits at 2.3% due to depreciation. Non-irrigated cropland cash rent for Missouri averaged $124/acre for a cash return of 3.6% and a total return of 5.1%. Cropland cash rent for Tennessee averaged $102/acre with a cash return of 2.5% and a total return of 4.5% when appreciation is added.