FNC News


Landowner News - The Changing Landscape

By Steve Morgan, Area Sales Manager - South Central Region

With 225 real estate agents based in more than 30 states across the country, Farmers National Company has its finger on the pulse of real estate activity. One thing we’ve noticed is that in a 15-year period from 2001 to 2016, more than 11 million acres of productive farm ground was rezoned for urban developments.

An added 12.39 million acres have disappeared since 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As cities continue to spread outward, the demand for land increases in relation, which fuels strong land sales figures.

Below are observations of real estate outlooks in the separate regions where Farmers National Company has a presence and works closely with ag producers.

Southern Region

Real estate markets for agricultural land across the southern region remain steady through the spring months. The driving force on market values in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle for irrigated cropland is the water production for irrigation. High volume water properties continue to fetch a premium in the market vs. the lower water production properties. Dryland and pasture values remain steady and in demand. The Delta and southeastern states continue to have a tremendous demand for cropland; however, with the demand, values are remaining steady from the increase of value in the last couple of years.

Central Region

Sales activity for agricultural land in Nebraska and northeast Colorado has experienced a notable slowdown in recent months, attributed to several factors. Seasonal fluctuations in the land market, coupled with a reduced supply of available land for sale, are responsible for this trend. Additionally, fewer buyers are willing to finance land purchases given the elevated interest rates. Despite these challenges, high quality land continues to command high prices at auctions. Conversely, less desirable farmland has seen a slight decrease in value. Listings for farmland are now experiencing longer periods on the market compared to the previous two years. Pastureland values, however, have remained resilient, buoyed by strong cattle prices.

Eastern Region

The eastern region is seeing similar activity to the rest of the country. Overall, agricultural land for sale volume is down 20 to 30% year-over-year. Farms that are for sale are still holding good value for highly tillable quality land. Less tillable lower quality soils are losing some value but not a major amount. Some areas of the region are well ahead on planting while other areas are behind as rains have been hit and miss through the region. A major player in the eastern area appears to be 1031 tax deferred exchange buyers.


Agricultural land values in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa have mostly stayed steady. There have been plenty of conversations in the agriculture community surrounding the rise in interest rates over the past year and how this may soften the market. But there still seems to be plenty of cash buyers willing and able to add to their land portfolios at current values, especially when it’s in a desired location close to their current operations. Another factor holding land prices steady is the lower supply of properties available for sale that we've seen over the past six months.

The Kansas, Colorado and Missouri states have seen some tremendous prices over the past year for high quality agricultural land in desirable locations. We’ve also seen the less desirable land start to pull back as two years of drought across much of the region, coupled with higher inputs, higher machinery and repair costs, and pressure from lower grain prices, have put some stress on the ag segment.

The drought map has turned slightly favorable this spring as planting picked up and wheat harvest is approaching. However, we are still behind on average annual rainfall in much of the area.

As we progress through the growing season toward harvest, we’ll have a better look at how resilient the real estate market might stay through the end of 2024.

Since our beginning in 1929, Farmers National Company has been committed to providing landowners with professional services focused on the sale or purchase of farms and ranches. Today, our real estate services have grown to include recreational properties, livestock facilities, agribusiness property, timberland, and even homes. In addition to our real estate services, we also offer independent appraisal and valuations of all types of rural and agri-commercial real estate. If we can be of assistance to you, contact us today or learn more about our services at www.fncrealestate.com.

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