South Dakota farm, ranch land drops in value per acre

Farm Forum

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The average value of farm and ranch land in South Dakota has dropped for the first time in at least a quarter century.

A new report from South Dakota State University says the average per-acre value of land dropped 2.4 percent after averaging a 10 percent increase annually since at least 1991, when the university began its survey of experts across the state.

The lands are divided into two categories non-irrigated and irrigated.

Non-irrigated, or drylands, make-up 99 percent of the acres used for crops and livestock pasture and hay, and one percent of the lands are made up of irrigated, or wetlands.

The land’s worth reflects the sharp declines in crop and beef cattle prices, the Capital Journal ( ) reported.

Federal officials anticipate net farm income will drop again this year nationwide.

Ranchers and other livestock market experts said prices for calves coming off pasture in the fall are down at least 40 percent from two years ago.

According to farmers, prices for corn, soybeans and wheat are down at least 30 percent historic highs seen three and four years ago.

Usually the prices for livestock and crops counter each other. However in the past five years prices for both have risen and dropped together.

Since the lower prices have thinned or erased profits for some, many farmers will have to re-negotiate their land rent prices with their landlords.