USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) updated data on cash rent paid by farmers in 2015. NASS collects this data from 240,000 farms across the United States annually through the Cash Rent Survey - data used by other agencies throughout USDA. The survey results can also give us an idea of what other tenants in the area may be paying per acre for farmland.
Many of you often ask me just what constitutes a good cash rent price. I honestly have no idea what a good cash rent price is for you, or the other party, based on the farmland. The averages from this survey will give you a good starting point, but you should always consider determining what a good price is for you. Resources exist at http://www.aglease101.org to help you calculate a cash rent, a crop-share rent, or a flex-cash rent. Utilizing these resources first can help you determine rent prices that will work for you.
Nationally, cash rent prices were up 2.13 percent this year compared with 2014 (table 1). Non-irrigated cropland cash rent went from $130/acre in 2014 to $133/acre in 2015 or a 2.31 percent increase. Irrigated cropland saw a 0.48 percent increase, going from $208/acre on average in 2014 to $209/acre on average in 2015 (table 1). Pasture rent increased from an average of $12/acre in 2014 to $14/acre in 2015 or a 16.67 percent increase (table 1). Cash rent nationally continued to increase while crop prices and farm incomes are projected to be down again in 2015.
How did we do in Maryland and how did Delaware do compared with the national increases? The answer depends on which state you are in. Delaware saw cropland cash rents down by 1.02 percent (table 2). Cropland cash rents in Delaware dropped $1/acre in 2015 going from $98.50 in 2014 to $97.50 in 2015. Maryland saw a 3.26-percent increase of non-irrigated cropland rents or rising $3/acre to $95/acre in 2015 (table 2). NASS did not receive enough responses for us to compare last year’s irrigated cash rental rates in Delaware and Maryland and cash rents for cropland and pastureland in Maryland (table 2).
NASS will not release county cash rental rates in 2015, but will publish those in 2016 and in even years after 2016. Tables 3 and 4 give the results of 2014 survey for irrigated and non-irrigated cropland for Delaware and Maryland by counties. But we can guess that for 2015, a majority of counties in Maryland will see an increase in their cash rent prices for non-irrigated cropland, because the statewide cash rental rate increased. Delaware counties potentially saw a decrease in cropland cash rental rates per acre because the statewide average decreased.
For more information on farmland leasing, see the “Lease Agreements” section of UME’s Grain Marketing website.