Irrigated cropland values surge

Published online: Feb 21, 2013
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The intense drought across the U.S. Plains sparked a rush in irrigated farmland sales during the fourth quarter of 2012.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reports irrigated farmland values in the seven-state Tenth District were up 30 percent from a year ago, and jumped 13 percent from the third quarter.

Non-irrigated farmland was not far behind, up 25 percent from a year ago.  And ranchland was up 19 percent, even as pastures withered in the face of drought.

The Tenth District includes Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, parts of Missouri and the eastern Rocky Mountain region.

The Kansas City Fed's report follows a Thursday report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which showed the price of farmland during the fourth quarter jumped 16 percent versus a year ago.

Both Fed offices report that farmers continue to be the predominant buyers of farm real estate.