A few weeks ago, I blogged about the statewide cash rent averages for Maryland and Delaware, and that we saw that statewide cash rents had increased for non-irrigated, irrigated, and pastureland in both states. But how did county cash rent averages compare with the statewide averages? USDA-NASS recently released the county rental averages.
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. Another new valuable tool is Fair Rent from the University of Minnesota (fairrent.umn.edu). Fair Rent is a web-based tool that allows you to input to help determine an appropriate rent as either a landlord or tenant. Utilizing these resources first can help you determine rent prices that will work for you.
In Delaware, the highest non-irrigated cash rent was in Kent County with $87.50 per acre in 2014, but was down $0.50 from a high of $88 per acre in 2013 (table 1). Lowest cash rent for non-irrigated cropland was in Sussex County at $76 per acre in 2014, but this is up $11 per acre from 2013’s price of $65 per acre (table 1). Delaware only has one county, Sussex, with a reported irrigated cropland cash rent of $135 per acre in 2014 (table 1). Sussex County saw a $5 per acre increase in irrigated cash rent from 2013 to 2014 (table 1).
In Maryland, we have a little bit more diversity in county cash rents in 2014, ranging from $26 to $164 per acre. Allegany has the lowest non-irrigated cash rent in 2014, $26 per acre, down $3.50 per acre from $29.50 per acre in 2013 (table 2). Harford County had the highest non-irrigated cash rent in 2014, $164 per acre, and this was up $50 from the 2013 average, $114 per acre (table 2).
Maryland has many counties on the Eastern Shore that report irrigated cash rent averages (table 3). Caroline and Dorchester counties reported the highest average irrigated cash rent at $161 per acre in 2014, up from the 2013 averages in both counties (table 3). Somerset County reported the lowest irrigated cash rent in Maryland with $111 per acre.
As asked in a previous post, do we expect to continue to cash rent at these high levels? The answer is probably not, based on 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.