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.

Minnesota Average Corn Yield for 2021

County State Year Commodity Average Value
1 Waseca Minnesota 2021 Corn 213.7
2 Watonwan Minnesota 2021 Corn 210.1
3 Freeborn Minnesota 2021 Corn 208.1
4 Steele Minnesota 2021 Corn 206.2
5 Sibley Minnesota 2021 Corn 203.9
6 Nobles Minnesota 2021 Corn 203.3
7 Blue Earth Minnesota 2021 Corn 201.5
8 Martin Minnesota 2021 Corn 195.3
9 Cottonwood Minnesota 2021 Corn 195
10 McLeod Minnesota 2021 Corn 194.4

Minnesota Average Cash Rent for 2021 – $177

Minnesota traditionally has competitive cash rents for non-irrigated tillable row crop farmland in the Midwest.  The average cash rent earned throughout the state in 2021 was $177 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
1 Minnesota Sibley $249 $250
2 Minnesota Rock $224 $249
3 Minnesota Blue Earth $217 $238
4 Minnesota Faribault $223 $237
5 Minnesota Watonwan $226 $235
6 Minnesota Martin $221 $232
7 Minnesota Dodge $210 $232
8 Minnesota Le Sueur $221 $231
9 Minnesota Jackson $198 $229
10 Minnesota Mower $217 $229

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 = $750,000/100 acre X 2.5%

Rent = $10,000 X 2.5% (0.025)

Rent = $250 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.

Minnesota Average Soil Productivity (PI) – 66.36 CPI

Minnesota has very productive soil for an array of agricultural purposes.  Minnesota is known for its corn, soybean, sugar beets, and wheat production.

The Minnesota Crop Productivity Index (CPI) ratings provide a benchmark for different soil types and how well they are suited for row crop production. Soil ratings range from 0 to 100 in Minnesota. Like most soil rating scales, the closer to 100 translates to higher potential productivity for that soil.

Here are the top 10 Counties by average soil PI in Minnesota:

County State Crop Productivity Index
1 Nobles Minnesota 90
2 Chippewa Minnesota 89
3 Martin Minnesota 89
4 Traverse Minnesota 89
5 Cottonwood Minnesota 88
6 McLean Minnesota 88
7 Douglas Minnesota 88
8 Sibley Minnesota 88
9 Jackson Minnesota 87
10 Redwood Minnesota 87

Minnesota Average Farm Sales – 2021 – $8,200.93/acre

As one might suspect, the counties with the highest average yields, cash rent, and soil productivity are typically 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.  

Minnesota is known for its soil and crop diversity, growing different crops throughout the state to match the appropriate soil types. Land sale values will vary throughout the state to reflect this diversity. 

The average sale price for the top 10 counties in Minnesota in 2021 was $8,200.93/acre.  

Below is a chart showing the top 10 counties for average prices of farms for sale in Minnesota in 2021.

County Sold Year Median Price per Acre Total Acres
1 Carver 2021 10,392.16 2,401.20
2 Scott 2021 9,859.61 4,708.70
3 Sherburne 2021 8,848.43 3,205.90
4 Wright 2021 7,951.09 6,108.10
5 Olmstead 2021 7,754.38 10,182.80
6 Jackson 2021 7,669.40 8,013.50
7 Nicollet 2021 7,512.01 7,131.60
8 Sibley 2021 7,490.18 8,852.80
9 Faribault 2021 7,488.48 10,848.30
10 Mower 2021 7,043.60 11,938.10

*We’ve removed sales of residential and development property to the best of our ability to accurately portray the sale values of farmland throughout the state.

Farm Loans in Minnesota

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 loans and 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.

Found the farmland you are interesed in purchasing?

Now find your loan partner that will make it a reality. Get approved in seconds with an all digital application from Tillable, who will work with you to make sure you get the best rates possible.

Related Resources

Guide to Farmland Valuation

Considering selling your farmland but don’t know its true value? Our guide helps any landowner who is considering selling their farm in 2021.

Farmland Interest Rate Volatility

As of last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve (the Central Bank of the United States) has again raised interest rates 75 basis points, or three-quarters of a percentage point.

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