Thursday, November 17, 2016

Land values: They’re likely to get worse before they get better

“Things will get worse before they get better.” That’s the opening warning shot by Damona Doye in her ag land management perspective presentation prepared for the recent OSU Rural Economic Outlook Conference. Doye, Oklahoma State University Regents Professor and Rainbolt Chair in Agriculture Finance, was unable to deliver her talk at the conference due to a family emergency, but she was kind enough to share her thoughts later with Southwest Farm Press. Land values have not fared well across the U.S. compared to a year ago, she says, including significant decreases in some Midwest states. Values in Southern Plains states (Oklahoma and Texas) held up better because rates were not bid up as fast as they were in the Midwest, partly because “the Southern Plains had multiple years of drought, and land values are influenced more by beef prices and income, which until recently were faring better than corn and soybean-focused enterprises. “Southern Plains land values have held up better, and as of the first of this year, had not yet registered declines. However, more recent evidence shows a softening in land values.” Even with some stability, Doye says land value increases are relatively small compared to recent years of double-digit increases. Oklahoma cropland value increased by 3.1 percent; Texas is up 2.75 percent; New Mexico increased 0.7 percent; and Louisiana is up 4.8 percent compared to 2015. A similar trend is apparent in pastureland values, with few states showing an increase. Oklahoma pastureland value improved by 2.8 percent; Texas remained flat; Louisiana was up a slim 0.4 percent; and New Mexico recorded a 2.9 percent increase over 2015. By late in the year, land values were softening in some of the most productive wheat areas in north central Oklahoma, Doye says. “On average, pastureland prices were increasing at a faster rate than cropland in the most recent year — 5.1 percent compared to 4.7 percent.”...more

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