Pace of Iowa farmland sales slows at start of year

Ag/Outdoor

February 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — The frenzied pace of farmland sales has slowed at the start of the year amid uncertainty about the drought. Fred Greder, who owns Benchmark Agribusiness, says that between Labor Day and the end of 2012, about 100 farmland auctions were held in north Iowa. Greder says he’s only aware of seven so far this year. Greder says he thinks the market is catching its breath. The fast pace of sales last fall was boosted by worries about possible tax law changes, low interest rates and high farmland values.

The average value of Iowa farmland rose 24 percent to $8,300 an acre at the end of 2012. Some farmland near Mason City sold for $15,540 an acre last year to set a county record.