A while back I posted about cash rent values in Maryland and Delaware in 2014. Today I want to continue that theme, looking at land values in Maryland and Delaware in 2013.
Each year USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) surveys farms to get land value information on cropland and pastureland. The survey also takes into account an estimated value of all land and buildings. NASS compares the survey results to the previous year’s results to determine the estimated percent change.
Nationally, the value of all U.S. farmland increased from 2013-14 (table 1). For cropland, the value increased by 7.6 percent ($290) per acre in 2013 from 2012. Nationally, average cropland values have only decreased in 1 year (2009) in the past 15 years. Pastureland also increased in value by 11.1 percent, or $130/acre in 2014. Nationally, pastureland has decreased in the past 15 years. Farm real estate value, a measurement of all land and buildings on farms, rose 8.1 percent per acre, or by $2,950 in 2014. As with cropland, the U.S. average farm real estate value has only decreased during one period over the past 15 years.
How did Maryland and Delaware do compared to the rest of the country? We did not see the dramatic increases as the U.S. average, and in some cases actually saw slight decreases in farmland values. In Maryland, farm real estate average value per acre decreased by $30/acre, or 0.4 percent in 2014 (table 2). Delaware actually saw a .1- percent increase or $10/acre increase in farm real estate value in 2014 (table 3). Over the period of 2000-14, farm real estate average value per acre increased by 92 percent in Maryland (table 2). Nationally over the same period of time, farm real estate average values per acre increased by 171 percent (table 1). Delaware saw a 309-percent increase over this same 15-year period and currently farm real estate average values are not near their highs of 2006-08 (table 3).
Looking at average cropland values, Maryland saw average value per acre remain constant at $6,470/acre in 2013 and 2014 (table 2). This average does not distinguish between irrigated and non-irrigated cropland. Delaware, on the other hand, saw a 0.1-percent increase, or $10/acre for the average value of cropland. Over the 15-year period, cropland average values per acre increase by 85 percent in Maryland but were down 23 percent in 2014 from high average per acre values reached in 2007 (table 2). Delaware saw a 150-percent increase in average cropland values (table 3). Delaware also saw average cropland values down 23 percent in 2014 from the highs of 2007 (table 3).
It is unclear if the average pastureland per acre increased or decreased in 2014 in Maryland (table 2). NASS did not disclose the Maryland average value per acre during 2007-13 since the survey pool was small and could potentially disclose individual respondents. Pastureland average values in Maryland increased 76 percent over this 15-year period but the average pastureland value per acre was down 22 percent in 2014 from highs reached in 2006 (table 2).
In Maryland and Delaware, we did not see percent increases in farmland prices from 2013 to 2014 as nationally. Will we see increases in 2015 nationally and in Maryland and Delaware? Farm incomes and commodity prices are projected to be lower this year so that will impact farmland prices. But at the same time, other parties may look at continuing to invest in farmland and this may help to keep values up. Only time will tell moving forward if farmland values will increase in 2015.