Divergent Land Values in Midwest, Southeast

 Source: USDA NASS

Source: USDA NASS

My little story on land values and land rents in the agricultural economic downturn is up over at Growing Georgia. It's a quick read (hint: Southeast prices are holding on). What's not there, however, are all of the supporting graphs. There are also some highly important maps that show the fundamental ways that Midwest farming and Southeast farming are structured differently. In short, farmers in the Corn Belt rent a lot more land, which — just by sheer numbers — makes them more likely to walk away from land with high cash rents. Farmers in the Southeast, particularly Georgia, have more irrigation and a lot more investment in their fields. That land is a pretty sure bet to produce and too expensive to set aside. 

Maps and data are below:

 Source: USDA NASS, 2012 Census of Agriculture

Source: USDA NASS, 2012 Census of Agriculture

 Source:  Changes in Southern Cotton and Peanut Producing Regions, Shelbi R. Knisley, USDA-ERS

Source: Changes in Southern Cotton and Peanut Producing Regions, Shelbi R. Knisley, USDA-ERS

 Source:  2015 Farmland Value Survey, Iowa State University, University Extension

Source: 2015 Farmland Value Survey, Iowa State University, University Extension