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Midwest Cash Rent Insights 2021

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2021 USDA Cash Rent Data Has Been Released. We highlight the biggest changes in rents for each Midwest state.
2021 Farm Rent Averages

The 2021 USDA county cash rent data is in. All Tillable accounts have been updated so you have the information you need to help make informed decisions as you prepare for 2022.  Log in or create your free Tillable account to see data specific to your county and farm.

IOWA – $233/acre

Overall Iowa has the highest cash rent average with $233/acre, compared to the other cropland states, and saw a $3 increase in rents from 2020. 

  • Grundy County topped the state at $276/acre, seeing a year-over-year increase of $4.
  • Clay County led the way in year-over-year growth with a $23 increase to $235/acre.
  • Other Counties to Note:
    • Butler County: $11 year-over-year increase up to $264/acre
    • Cedar County: $13 year-over-year increase up to $263/acre

ILLINOIS – $227/acre

Average Illinois cash rent increased by $6/acre in 2021, landing it at $227/acre. 

  • Macon County, IL had a $17 year-over-year increase and a state-leading rent of $311/acre. That’s the first time the USDA county average rent has broken the $300 mark in several years.
  • The largest year-to-year growth was Wayne County, IL with a $23 increase with an average rent of $160/acre.
  • Other Counties to Note:
    • Piatt County: $16 year-over-year increase up to $297/acre
    • Moultrie County: $13 year-over-year increase up to $297/acre

INDIANA – $198/acre

Of all the states in the corn belt, Indiana came in the third spot for average rent prices. The statewide average cash rent is now $198/acre, up $6 from 2020. 

  • Benton County came out on top with an average rent of $265/acre.
  • The largest year-to-year growth was Boone County, with a $25 increase to $239/acre.
  • Other Counties to Note:
    • Tipton County: $13 year-over-year increase up to $248/acre
    • Warren County: $5 year-over-year increase up to $242/acre

NEBRASKA – $197/acre

Nebraska’s statewide average remained flat year-over-year from 2020 to 2021 at $197/acre.

  • Cuming County landed the state’s top average rent at $250/acre
  • The largest year-over-year growth was Washington County, NE, up $9 to $234/acre.
  • Other Counties to Note:
    • Thurston County: $30 year-over-year decrease down to $245/acre
    • Dakota County: $5 year-over-year increase up to $244/acre

MINNESOTA – $177/acre

Minnesota saw the highest year-over-year gain in cash rent, with the statewide average increasing from $14/acre to $177.

  • Sibley County, MN came out on top with an average rent of $250/acre, a $1 increase over the 2020 cash rent average.
  • The largest year-to-year growth was Jackson County, MN with a $31 increase to $229/acre.
  • Other Counties to Note:
    • Rock County: $25 year-over-year increase to $249/acre
    • Blue Earth County: $21 year-over-year increase to $238/acre

OHIO – $160/acre

Average cash rent increased to $160/acre in 2021, up $4 from 2020.

  • Darke County, OH came out on top with an average rent of $217/acre, a $7 increase over the 2020 cash rent average.
  • The largest year-to-year growth was Clermont County, OH with a $21 increase to $134/acre.
  • Other Counties to Note:
    • Mercer County: $5 year-over-year increase up to $213/acre
    • Shelby County: $11 year-over-year increase up to $212/acre

WISCONSIN – $138/acre

Wisconsin is the only state in the midwest to see lower rents than last year. The average cash rent decreased by $5/acre to $138 in 2021.

  • Lafayette County tops the state’s highest cash rents at $214 an acre in 2021, but this is a $3 decrease from 2020. 
  • Grant County comes in with the second-highest at $210 with a $1 increase from 2020.
  • Overall Ozaukee County had the largest statewide increase at $26, bringing average rent to $113/acre.

MISSOURI – $130/acre

Missouri farmers paid an average of $130/acre to rent non-irrigated cropland in 2021, $6 more than last year.

  • Atchison came out on top with an average rent of $204/acre, an $18 increase over 2020.
  • Holt and Scott counties come in second and third with cash rent averages of $193 and $172 respectively, but Holt saw a $24 decrease from 2021 and Scott a $36 decrease. 
  • The largest year-to-year growth was Macon County with a $28 increase, bringing average rents to $138/acre.
    Other Counties to Note:
    • Gentry County: $6 year-over-year increase up to $156/acre
    • Caroll County: $23 year-over-year increase up to $163/acre

SOUTH DAKOTA – $120/acre

South Dakota’s statewide average increased $4 year-over-year in 2021, from $118/acre to $122/acre.

  • Moody County came out on top with an average rent of $226/acre.
  • The largest year-to-year growth was Clay County, up $16 to $199/acre.
  • Other Counties to Note:
    • Union County: $6 year-over-year decrease, down to $213/acre
    • Lincoln County: $3 year-over-year increase, up to $203/acre

NORTH DAKOTA – $72.50/acre

North Dakota’s statewide average increased $3 year-over-year from 2020 to 2021, from $69.50/acre to $72.50/acre.

  • Richland County came out on top with an average rent of $133/acre.
  • The largest year-to-year growth was Traill County, up $10 to $122/acre.
  • Other Counties to Note:
    • Cass County: stayed flat year-on-year at $126/acre
    • Dickey County: $9 year-over-year increase, up to $113/acre

Generally, we find that USDA average rents are 20-25% below competitively managed farmland and can diverge further based on the quality of the farm. USDA rents also are a lagging indicator, meaning that a good 2021 crop year will not result in high 2021 rents. With commodity prices high and decent crops throughout the Midwest, we expect rent prices to rise in 2022.

Whether you are a farmer negotiating rent with a landowner, or a landowner negotiating with your farmer, you can claim a farm on Tillable to access tools to arrive at a fair rent. 
If you need help interpreting the data give us a call. Our friendly team of farmland professionals can help.

It all starts with logging in or creating a free account at Tillable.com.

Add your farm and access farmland insights, where applicable, such as:

  • A free rent estimate 
  • Your soil productivity 
  • Crop history 
  • Historical county average rent and yield data
  • A gross rent revenue calculator to help calculate and determine a fair rent
    *Typically we see cash rent at 30-38% of the gross production value of the land 
  • Information on recent nearby farm sale

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