Franklin County farm-land values cool down in 2013

Despite showing a slight increase last year, land values in Franklin County slowed down significantly compared to their scorching jump in 2012.

     Iowa State University's annual land value survey reported the average price of one acre of Franklin County farmland at $9,717 in 2013. That number is up 1.16 percent from 2012's estimate of $9,606, but doesn't even scratch the 25.7 percent jump seen from 2011 to 2012. According to the report, the slowdown mirrored a trend that saw land values cool off – and even drop in some cases – throughout Iowa.

     "I don't think we're at a plateau, I think we've dipped already," said Kelvin Leibold, Farm Management Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach for north central Iowa.

     Leibold's assessment of 2013 land values went a step further than the survey. He felt the numbers were the beginning of a statewide decline due to a host of factors like low commodity prices, market fluctuation, and speculation about increased interest rates. Leibold explained uncertainty would lead to less land purchases, which would eventually drive down prices even further in 2014.

Read the full article in the Jan. 8 edition of the Hampton Chronicle.