Farmland prices continued rising throughout 2023. Randy Dickhut, farmland sales specialist with Agricultural Economic Insights, says rising prices were a little surprising given the economic conditions.
He says, “With the issues of higher input costs, higher interest rates, and challenges to the farm income outlook for the year as we started, it slowed the market down. Everybody thought it would stabilize at best and maybe soften some. What we saw was that happened, but it stayed more stable even with the bidding as we went through the year summer, and here in the fall, the bidding on farmland has stayed very strong. There aren’t as many bidders as possible, but there’s still bidding for those fewer farms that are coming up for sale.”
While the overall number of buyers may have shrunk this year, he says they’re still motivated when farms come up for sale. Dickhut says, “With the interest rates, everybody’s thinking they’ll affect it, but they haven’t yet. I think the year really surprised people that it was good and strong. There weren’t really that many records, although there were a few, including that one in North Dakota. But all you need is two people wanting that farm, and it’ll go for more than you would have ever thought.”
He says many buyers had cash to spend that was built up over the last several years.
Dickhut says, “That’s part of it. There were several good years. Those who did well saved up that cash, and if they have it, they’ll go buy equipment or a farm with that cash. For a farmer owning that farm that comes up for sale next to him once every three or four generations is a key, especially if you’ve got a generation that’s going to continue farming.”
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