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USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) updated data on cash rent paid by producers in 2023. NASS collects this data from 240,000 operations across the United States annually through the Cash Rent Survey - data used by other agencies throughout USDA. The survey results give us an idea of what other tenants in the area may be paying per acre for farmland.
One important note: many of you ask me what constitutes a reasonable cash rent price. I have no idea what an affordable cash rent price is for you or the other party based on a specific piece of farmland. The averages will give you a good starting point, but you should consider a reasonable price carefully. Resources exist at http://www.aglease101.org to help calculate cash rent, crop-share rent, or flex-cash rent. Utilizing these resources can help determine rent prices that will work for you.
Nationally, cash rent averages in 2023 were up (table 1). Non-irrigated cropland cash rent increased from $135/acre in 2022 to $142/acre in 2023, or a 4.52 percent increase. Irrigated cropland saw a 4.22 percent increase, going from $227/acre on average in 2023 to $237/acre in 2023 (table 1). Since 2014, irrigated cash rental rates have risen over 12.24 percent per acre. Pasture rent rose 6.67 percent from $14/acre in 2022 to $15/acre in 2023 (table 1).
How did we do in Maryland, and how did Delaware do compared with national averages? The answer depends on where you lease farmland. Delaware saw cropland cash rents increase by 4.88 percent (table 2). Cropland cash rents in Delaware increased by $6/acre in 2023, going from $117 in 2022 to $123 in 2023 (table 2). The average irrigated cropland in Delaware increased by 4.92 percent in 2023, from $174/acre average in 2022 to $183/acre average in 2023 (table 2). The average non-irrigated cropland in Delaware increased by 2.56 percent, going from $958/acre in 2022 to $97.50/acre in 2023.
Maryland saw a 4.88 percent increase in average cropland cash rent from $111/acre in 2022 to $117/acre in 2023 (table 3). The average irrigated cropland increased by 5.19 percent in 2023, from $201/acre average in 2022 to $212/acre average in 2023 (table 3). Average pastureland cash rents were down .99 percent in Maryland in 2023, going from $51/acre in 2022 to $50.50/acre in 2023 (table 3).
NASS will release county cash rental rates later in August 2023. You can check out this publication or the UME Grain Marketing page for last year's average cash rents.