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What the Iowa State Cash Rent Survey Means for Landowners

Iowa State University just released its 2019 Cash Rent Survey Report, and it’s interesting reading for landowners and farmers in Iowa. The results reflect information provided by farmers, landowners, lenders, farm managers and other agricultural professionals based on “their best judgments about typical cash rental rates” in their counties—importantly, this does not include information about actual rents for individual farms.

Iowa Cash Rent Key Takeaways

Cash rent in Iowa was flat to slightly declining from 2018 to 2019 in all but one of the districts reported. However, looking at the report by county, or by quality of land, reveals (perhaps unsurprisingly) that typical rents vary widely based on location and soil productivity. Within one reporting district, the difference between the counties with the highest and lowest rent can be $50 or even more per acre. The spread is even wider when looking at land quality. Download the full PDF of the Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2019 Survey to dig into the details yourself.

Every Farm is Unique

This data is a useful benchmark but also highlights the need to base your cash rent decisions on the attributes of your specific farmland. Your farm’s location, crop history, yield data, productivity rating, and your farmer all play a role in determining what the appropriate rent for your land should be. If you’re not sure where to start, Tillable can help with a Free Farmland Checkup.