Late last week, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) updated data on cash rent paid by farmers in 2014. 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.
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 averages 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 3.68 percent this year compared with 2013 (table 1). Non-irrigated cropland cash rent went from $125/acre in 2013 to $130/acre in 2014 or a 4-percent increase. Irrigated cropland saw a 2.97-percent increase, going from $202/acre on average in 2013 to $208/acre on average in 2014 (table 1). Pasture rent stayed on average at $12/acre in 2014 as it was in 2013 (table 1). Cash rent nationally continued to increase while crop prices are projected to be down this year compared with 2013.
How did we do in Maryland and how did Delaware do compared with the national increases? In both states, cash rent prices are up in 2014: 11 percent in Delaware and only 3.85 percent compared with cash rent in 2013 (table 2). With irrigated cropland, Delaware saw the smallest increase of 2.31 percent, or up $3 to $133/acre in 2014 (table 2). Maryland saw an 8.33-percent increase of irrigated cropland rents or rising $11/acre to $143/acre in 2014. Maryland also saw a 3.37-percent increase and Delaware saw a 7.84-percent increase in non-irrigated cropland (table 2).
NASS has not yet released county level results. Tables 3 and 4 give the results of 2013 survey for irrigated and non-irrigated cropland for Delaware and Maryland by counties. But we can guess that for 2014, a majority of counties in Maryland and Delaware will see an increase in their cash rent prices.
Do we expect to see higher rent prices continuing? The answer is probably not, due to lower price projections by NASS. This could lead to lower cash rent prices in 2015, but we will have to wait until then to determine if rent prices did decrease. For more information on farmland leasing, see the “Lease Agreements” section of UME’s Grain Marketing website.
*Note if state or county did not have a cash rent price listed for a practice than the practice is not utilized in that area or NASS did not receive enough responses to generate an estimate.