NASS: Idaho farmland value continues rise

The value of Idaho cropland continues to rise, according to a June 19 report by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service that covers 2009-13.

Idaho farm real estate averaged $2,220 per acre in 2013. After hitting a low of $2,060 in 2011, the 2013 value marks the first time it has topped the 2009 level of $2,200. This figure tallies the combined value of land and buildings used for agricultural production, including dwellings.

The Idaho value ranks No. 1 in the Mountain Region, with Utah coming in second at $1,900 an acre and Nevada at $1,040. The entire region showed a per-acre value of $1,010 and land in the lower 48 states, excluding American Indian reservations, was valued at $2,730 an acre.

The average value of Idaho cropland in 2013, at $2,850 an acre, came in behind Utah’s $3,230 but well over the region’s $1,780. The Idaho value fell sharply from $2,610 an acre in 2009 to $2,480 in 2010 before bottoming out in 2011 at $2,470, but has increased since then.

The Mountain Region had a per-acre value of $1,780, while cropland in the lower 48 states was valued at $3,810.

Land valued as cropland is that used to grow field crops, vegetables or land harvested for hay. Land that switches back and forth between cropland and pasture is valued as cropland, as is hay land, idle cropland and cropland enrolled in government conservation programs.

The value of Idaho’s irrigated cropland again outstripped that of other states in the region — except Utah — with a value of $4,250 per acre, compared to Utah’s $5,200. The Idaho figure was well above the 2009 level of $2,610, showing a strong recovery from the low years of 2010-12. Nonirrigated farmland in the state, at $1,310 per acre, was barely above the 2009 value of $1,300, but higher than the three low years.

The NASS report did not list total values for irrigated and nonirrigated cropland in the region or the lower 48.

Pastureland in Idaho also led the region with a value of $1,220 per acre. However, the value of that land in Idaho has been on a steady decline since the 2009 level of $1,280 an acre, reaching the current level in 2012. Other states in the region showed a general increase in value, though not dramatic.

The per-acre value of pastureland in the Mountain Region was $594 an acre, while the value stood at $1,170 an acre for the lower 48 states.

The total farm real estate value of farmland and buildings in Idaho for 2013 totaled $26,196,000, again surpassing the 2009 level of $2.53 million and showing a comeback from the low in 2011.

However, Montana’s vast size gave it a value of $47,163 million to easily lead the Mountain Region. The total for the lower 48 states was nearly $2.4 billion and was adjusted to include land in Indian reservations.

This value is derived by multiplying the average value per acre of farm real estate by the land in farms.

For the complete report visit the NASS website at or email