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Introduction

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.

Wisconsin Average Corn Yield for 2021

County State Year Commodity Average Value
1 Milwaukee Wisconsin 2021 Corn 185.7
2 Pepin Wisconsin 2021 Corn 176.8
3 Lafayette Wisconsin 2021 Corn 117.2
4 Grant Wisconsin 2021 Corn 115.15
5 Dodge Wisconsin 2021 Corn 111.25
6 Rock Wisconsin 2021 Corn 108.95
7 Green Wisconsin 2021 Corn 108.95
8 Fond du Lac Wisconsin 2021 Corn 108.75
9 Dane Wisconsin 2021 Corn 107.9
10 Columbia Wisconsin 2021 Corn 107.6

Wisconsin Average Cash Rent for 2021 – $138

Wisconsin reports solid and consistent cash rent year over year compared to other states in the Midwest. Although most tracts are smaller than other states, the land is productive and experiences consistent crops.

The average cash rent earned throughout the state in 2021 was $138 an acre. Below is a chart of the highest average cash rents by county.

The average cash rent of the top 10 cash rent earning counties in Wisconsin in 2021 was $186.80/acre.

2021 Non-Irrigated Cash Rent County Leaderboards

State County 2020 Avg. Cash Rent 2021 Avg. Cash Rent
1 Wisconsin Lafayette $217 $214
2 Wisconsin Grant $209 $210
3 Wisconsin Brown $183 $190
4 Wisconsin Green $198 $183
5 Wisconsin Walworth $181 $181
6 Wisconsin Dane $182 $180
7 Wisconsin Rock $195 $179
8 Wisconsin Kewaunee $183 $178
9 Wisconsin Columbia $176 $177
10 Wisconsin Calumet $177 $176

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 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.

Wisconsin Average Soil Productivity (PI) – 47.70 NCCPI


For most, Wisconsin is known for its rolling hills full of dairies that produce some of the best cheeses in America. But Wisconsin also produces its own fair amount of corn and soybeans with some of the most fertile land in the Midwest.

In all states (except Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota) soil productivity ratings are determined by the overall NCCPI (National Commodity Crop Productivity Index) developed by the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service)

The average soil productivity in the top 10 most productive counties in Wisconsin is 64.6.

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

County State Crop Productivity Index
1 Kenosha Wisconsin 70
2 Racine Wisconsin 70
3 Pierce Wisconsin 67
4 Dodge Wisconsin 65
5 Vernon Wisconsin 65
6 Crawford Wisconsin 64
7 Grant Wisconsin 63
8 Walworth Wisconsin 62
9 La Crosse Wisconsin 61
10 Iowa Wisconsin 59

Wisconsin Average Farm Sales – 2021 – $6,406.37/acre


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

The average sale price for the top 10 counties in Wisconsin in 2021 was $6,406.37/acre.  Below is a chart showing the top 10 counties for average sale prices offor farms for sale in Wisconsin in 2021.

County Sold Year Median Price per Acre Total Acres
1 Kenosha 2021 9,962.96 11,839.00
2 Ozaukee 2021 7,880.63 5,556.20
3 Washington 2021 7,500.00 14,095.00
4 Walworth 2021 6,552.23 25,019.00
5 Racine 2021 5,833.33 10,251.00
6 Brown 2021 5,681.82 16,258.00
7 Sheboygan 2021 5,570.97 18,101.00
8 Dane 2021 5,147.06 40,371.00
9 Lafayette 2021 5,059.65 34,732.00
10 Calumet 2021 4,875.00 13,012.00

*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 Wisconsin

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.

Found the farmland you are interesting 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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