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Stability, and That's Just Fine

Iowa farm after a rain
(The Poduska family farm following a May rain. Photo courtesy: Ashley Poduska)

“There is no headline,” Ashley Poduska chuckled during her conversation with American Farmland Owner as she thought about the farmland trends over the past month that she knows personally, professionally and via family lineage. Poduska and her husband are both multi-generational farmers in east-central Iowa.

Her Instagram profile that details her life as “raising kids, crops and livestock” sums up her day-to-day in Cedar County, a rural county that includes the birthplace of former president Herbert Hoover and today has about 1,200 fewer residents than it did in 1870.

RELATED: Poduska chronicles life on the farm, along with landowner trends on Instagram: @ashley_poduska.


The county’s population has largely stabilized over the past decade. For Poduska, who serves as Peoples Company Appraisal Manager, stability may also be a signature trend that she has noticed in the most recent “Land Auction Results” report that surveys sales trends in a variety of agriculturally rich states.

No surge in farmland values, the monthly regional report found. No plunge in farmland values either. No rush to sell. No rush to buy. Just consistency. Still. Despite the psyches of those who feared the worst was still coming.

“It’s been this mix of interest rates…which are always a hot topic,” Poduska said as she recalled numerous conversations with farmers and landowners in recent months. “As interest rates have risen, farmers are almost waiting for it to get worse.”

That’s particularly the case with older landowners who remember, not so fondly, the 1980s. “They remember the 80s with interest rates almost in the ‘20s,’” Poduska said.

Interest rates reached almost 19% back then. Landowners with perspective know that today’s rates – while significantly higher than early COVID 19-era rates nearing zero – aren’t half as onerously high as they were when mullets stretched long and patience with higher financing wore thin.

But that was then…this is now.

Iowa Values Results

$/Acre: $12,018

$/Tillable: $14,124

$/CSR2: $181

Change from Q3 2023: -1%

Change from November 2022: -2%

Illinois Values Results

Tracts Sold: 109

Average $/Acre: $13,555

Minnesota Vaues Results

Tracts Sold: 41

Average $/Acre: $10,634

Missouri Values Results

Tracts Sold: 37

Average $/Acre: $6,951

Nebraska Values Results

Tracts Sold: 44

Average $/Acre: $9,265

South Dakota Values Results

Tracts Sold: 5

Average $/Acre: $9,880

(Source: Peoples Company Land Auction Results)

As investors increasingly notice continued appreciation in land values, they are more interested in ownership, Poduska noted. “There’s been investor interest the past few years…more so than I’ve seen in the ten years I’ve been doing is.”

Some investors wanted out of stocks and into land. But farmers -- who enjoyed a combination of strong sales, plentiful cash from COVID-19 aid and a longer-term view of the value of their land -- have not been driven to sell. So that has kept demand, along with values, strong.

That is good for her family’s growing business and the industry that she follows professionally.

“Stable,” Poduska said.

And stability can be just fine.

RELATED: The Peoples Company National Land Values Report here provides a broader, more detailed view of the past year. Read that here.  


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