Updated: Jul 9, 2020
By Paul Goeringer and Nerice Millet-Williams
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Each year USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) surveys farms to get land value information on cropland and pastureland. The annual 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 2018-19 (table 1). For cropland, the value came at $4,100 per acre in 2019 (table 1). Pastureland increased by 2.19 percent by $30 per acre at $1,370/per acre from 2018 to $1,400/per acre in 2019 (table 1). Farm real estate value, a measurement of all land and buildings on farms, increased by 1.94 percent per acre, or by $60 from $3,100/per acre in 2018 to $3,160/per acre in 2019 (table 1). Farm real estate values hit a 10-year high, and this represents a 47 percent increase from a low in 2010 (table 1).
How did Maryland and Delaware do compared to the rest of the country? Maryland saw cropland, pastureland, and farm real estate values held steady from 2018 values (table 2). Delaware has farm real estate values held steady in 2019 at 2018 values, and cropland increased by 6.42 percent in 2019 (table 3).
In Maryland, farm real estate average value per acre remained steady at $8,060 per acre (table 2). Delaware’s farm real estate values remained stable at $8,950 per acre (table 3).
Nationally over the last ten years, farm real estate average values per acre have increased by almost 47 percent (table 1). Over the same period, average farm real estate values in Maryland are almost 15.5 percent higher than the highs in 2010 (table 2). At the same time, Delaware has seen farm real estate values increase by 10.1 percent from 2010 (table 3).
Looking at average cropland values, Maryland saw average value per acre remain steady at $7,370 per acre in 2019 (table 2). Delaware, on the other hand, saw a 5.9 percent increase, or $480 per acre for the average value of cropland of $8,600 per acre (table 2). Over the last ten years, average cropland values per acre increased in Maryland and are up 8.54 percent in 2019 from 2010 averages (table 2). Similar to Maryland, Delaware saw an increase of 8.45 percent for average cropland values from 2010 to 2019 (table 3).
Average pastureland values in Maryland remained steady in 2019 from 2018 with not enough data to calculate per acre (table 2). Average pastureland values in Maryland are at the same percent value from the data in 2010 (table 2). Nationally, average pastureland values are up 32 percent from 2010 (table 1).
In Maryland and Delaware, we saw many farmland values remain stable while others decreased in 2019. Will values continue to increase nationally in 2020? Will farmland values remain steady in Maryland in 2020? Will cropland values continue to decrease in 2020 in Delaware? Farm incomes are projected to be lower again for the fourth consecutive years, which could continue to impact farmland prices. Only time will tell moving forward if farmland values will increase in 2020.