Farm sale prices are determined by a number of factors, two of which are the productivity (yield) and the rental income. If a farm is able to produce more bushels of corn or beans compared to the farm down the road from it, it is worth more when it comes time to sell. The same can be said about the rental income from a farm. If your farmer pays you a more competitive rent compared to farms in the area, the farm is worth more in a sale.
Illinois Average Corn Yield for 2021
Farmland in Illinois that sells for the highest price is more than likely the most productive land when discussing corn and soybean yields. Here is a list of the top 10 counties in Illinois by corn yield (bushel per acre) in the 2021 growing season.
Illinois Average Cash Rent for 2021 – $227
Illinois typically has some of the highest and most competitive cash rents for non-irrigated tillable row crop farmland in the Midwest. The average cash rent earned throughout the state in 2021 was $227 an acre. Below is a chart of the highest average cash rents by county.
2021 Non-Irrigated Cash Rent County Leaderboards
|State||County||2020 Avg. Cash Rent||2021 Avg. Cash Rent|
When landowners and farmers calculate cash rent, one common method is the Return on Investment (ROI) approach. In this method: Rent = Value of Land/Acre X ROI (~2.5% – 4%)
Here is an example of the ROI method:
Rent = $1,000,000/100 acre X 3%
Rent = $10,000 X 3% (0.03)
Rent = $300 per acre.
What this means: If land has traditionally been under-rented compared to its potential yield productivity (bushels per acre) it can lower the overall value (price per acre) of a farm in the event of a sale. This is why it is crucial to track cash rent and evaluate it compared to the productivity of the farm and track soil testing and nutrient application.
Illinois Average Soil Productivity (PI) – 110 CPI
Illinois has some of the best soil in the world, let alone the Midwest. Central Illinois and North Central Illinois farmland are home to the best soil productivity in the state. Prime agricultural land classes (Class A, Class B, and Class C) soil types can be categorized as follows:
Class A: 133-147 CPI
Class B: 117-132
Class C: 100-116
Soil ratings equal to or below 99 on the CPI are not classified as prime agricultural land.
Here are the top 10 Counties by average soil PI in Illinois:
|County||State||Crop Productivity Index|
Illinois Average Farm Sales – 2021 – $11,394/acre
As one might suspect, the counties with the highest average yields, cash rent, and soil productivity are the highest counties in the state for average sale prices for farmland. All of these extremely important pieces of data about farmland go hand-in-hand. Illinois is known for its renowned soils and agricultural production and this is reflected in the land sale values. The average sale price for the top 10 counties in Illinois in 2021 was $11,394/acre. Below is a chart showing the top 10 counties for average sale prices for farms in Illinois in 2021.
|County||Sold Year||Median Price per Acre||Total Acres|
Farm Loans in Illinois
With all of this data about yield, cash rent, soil, and sale prices, the next step in one’s journey in farmland ownership and investment is, “how do I pay for it if it is such a valuable asset?” Farm mortgages are very common when investing in farmland or expanding your operation. Unlike home mortgages, farm mortgages typically require 25%-35% of the purchase price of the farm as a down payment. This can also be represented as a Loan-to-Value ratio. Now, if you already own farmland with equity, you are able to pledge farmland as collateral for the new farm purchase which can lower the amount required for a down payment.
If you are ready to purchase your next farm you can explore our farm mortgage rates here and get a decision in 15 minutes without ever having to go to the bank and fill out pages upon pages of paperwork for an approval.