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Farm Real Estate Values

Massachusetts Agricultural Census 2012

Figure A shows farm real estate values for Massachusetts and the other New England states. New England has some of the highest farm real estate values in the country. Massachusetts farmland was worth $11,600 per acre in 2010, third in the nation to Rhode Island ($13,600 per acre) and New Jersey ($13,100 per acre). It is just ahead of Connecticut ($11,500 per acre). Massachusetts farmland values grew at an annual rate of 8.7 percent from 1990 through 2010. Connecticut and Rhode Island farm real estate values have grown annually by 7.7 and 9.1 percent since 1998, respectively. For the same period, growth rates have been 6.7 percent in Vermont , 9.2 percent in New Hampshire and 5.6 percent in Maine . Delaware and Maryland farm real estate values are rapidly approaching those of southern New England . Since 1998, Delaware and Maryland farmland values have grown at 17.4 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.


Farm real estate values have increased across the U.S. , but as Figure B shows, the values differ widely across regions. The Northern Plains averaged barely above $1,000 per acre in 2010, compared to over $8,000 per acre in the Northeast. The Southeast and Lake States regions have both seen growth rates that exceed those of the Northeast (9.02 and 12.7 percent since 1998, respectively), but farmland is still around $3,500 per acre. As expected, farm real estate values affect production costs. Dairy farms in regions with the highest real estate values have the highest production costs, while dairy farms in the regions with the lowest farm real estate values have the lowest production costs.


As reflected in Figure B, Table 1 shows that states in the Northeast have the highest average farm real estate values in the country. High real estate values extend from the southern New England states into the Mid-Atlantic region including New Jersey , Delaware , Maryland , and Pennsylvania . Also on the top ten list were Florida and California. The value of farm real estate is strongly associated with population density. In fact, eight of the states in Table 1 are among the top ten states in terms of population density, while the other two come very close (based on the 2000 Census).

New Mexico 's farmland value per acre was about one twenty eighth that of Rhode Island in 2010; it has the lowest farm real estate value of any state. Every Plains state was among the ten with lowest farm real estate values except Texas , which ranked 11th -lowest. Also on the bottom ten list were several Mountain states including Colorado , Montana and Nevada . Wyoming , which stood first earlier now ranks second lowest among the least expensive states for farm real estate.Seven of the states in Table 2 are among the ten states with lowest population densities. The other three come close.

Source: Figures were constructed using data from the USDA Economic Research Service

Table 1: Ten Most Expensive States for Farm Real Estate ($/Acre), 2010   Table 2: Ten Least Expensive States for Farm Real Estate ($/Acre), 2010
Rhode Island $13,600   New Mexico $480
New Jersey $13,100   Wyoming $510
Massachusetts $11,600   Montana $700
Connecticut $11,500   North Dakota $810
Delaware $8,100   South Dakota $920
Maryland $7,200   Nevada $1,000
California $6,700   Kansas $1,060
Florida $5,000   Colorado $1,080
Pennsylvania $5,000   Oklahoma $1,180
New Hampshire $4,750   Nebraska $1,460