"The average farm real estate
value for Illinois in 2004 was $2,610 per acre, the highest on
record," said Dale Lattz. "This includes the value of all land and
The information came from the
USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, which releases
every year an estimated average of farm real estate values and cash
rents by states. The estimates are based on surveys of farmers from
selected geographical areas.
"These surveys follow strict
statistical guidelines," said Lattz. "Estimated values may be
revised the following year based on additional information.
Revisions may also be made based on data from the five-year Census
Lattz noted that values
released in 2004 included downward revisions for the 1999 through
2003 time period, based on the 2002 Census of Agriculture data.
"The 2004 Illinois farm real
estate value figure was 7.4 percent higher than the 2003 revised
average of $2,430 per acre," he said. "The 2004 percentage increase
was the highest since a 7.6 percent increase in 1998."
In Illinois, farm real estate
values have shown a year-over-year increase every year since 1988,
or 17 consecutive years.
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column in this article]
"Since 2000, farm real estate
values in Illinois have increased 15 percent," he said.
In the years since 1970,
average farm real estate values have declined only five times as
compared with the previous year. Those years were 1982, 1983, 1985,
1986 and 1987.
"There have been three years
when farm real estate values increased over 20 percent -- 1974, 1976
and 1977," Lattz added. "The largest increase was in 1977, when
values rose 37.3 percent."
A steady upward increase in
farm real estate values has been the pattern since 1995.
"The largest increase during
that time was a 9 percent increase recorded in 1995," he said. "The
smallest was a 1.3 percent increase in 2001."
Driving the steady rise in
value, Lattz said have been low interest rates, low returns on
alternative investments and continued use of farmland for
"These factors seem to have a
bigger influence on farmland values than the actual earnings from
farm land," he said.
full copy of the report is available online at
of Illinois news release]