Midwest farmland prices up 10% from year ago

By Reuters Posted yesterday at 5:05 p.m.

Farmland values in the U.S. Midwest, one of the world’s top grain growing regions, jumped 10 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago due to rising agricultural prices and the low cost of money, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday.

“Just two years after a string of double-digit increases, District farmland values increased 10 percent in the third quarter of 2010 relative to the same period last year,” the Chicago Fed said in its quarterly survey of 227 agricultural bankers in the five-state area.

“With the value of ‘good’ agricultural land rising so quickly, there were reports of more farms put up for sale than in recent quarters,” the bank said.

The Fed’s seventh district stretches across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Iowa and Illinois alone grow one-third of U.S. corn and soybeans, while Wisconsin and Michigan are major dairy states. Pork production is another leading industry across the district.

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