USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) updated data on cash rent paid by farmers in 2016. 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 give us an idea of what other tenants in the area may be paying per acre for farmland.
One important note: many of you often ask me: just what is 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 Cash Rent Survey averages will give you a good starting point, but you should always consider determining what a good price is for you. Resources at http://www.aglease101.org can 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 down 5.56 percent this year compared with 2015 (table 1). Non-irrigated cropland cash rent went from $130/acre in 2014 to $133/acre in 2015 to $125 in 2016, or a 6.02 percent decrease. Irrigated cropland saw a 1.44-percent decrease, going from $209/acre on average in 2015 to $206/acre on average in 2016 (table 1). Pasture rent dropped from an average of $14/acre in 2015 to $13/acre in 2016 or a 7.14-percent decrease (table 1). Cash rent nationally decreased in 2016 reflecting a drop in projected crop prices and farm incomes for 2016.
How did Delaware do compared with the national increases? Delaware saw cropland cash rents increase by 12.82 percent (table 2). Cropland cash rents in Delaware increased by $12.50/acre in 2016, going from $97.50 in 2015 to $110 in 2016. Irrigated cropland in Delaware in 2016 had an average cash rent of $150/acre up $17/acre from the 2014 average (table 2). Delaware’s non-irrigated cropland had an average cash rent of $90/acre (table 2).
In 2016, Maryland’s average cropland rent is $104/acre and irrigated cropland is $100/acre (table 2). Maryland saw a 5.26-percent increase of non-irrigated cropland rents, rising $5/acre to $100/acre in 2016 (table 2).
Compared to the national averages, both Maryland and Delaware saw cash rent increases. It will be interesting to see, later this year, which counties experienced increases in cash rents in 2016. NASS will release county cash rental rates in September and I will get those posted once available.
For more information on farmland leasing, see the “Lease Agreements” section of UME’s Grain Marketing website.