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Farm Real Estate Values

Massachusetts Agricultural Census 2017

Figure 9.1 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 $10,800 per acre in 2017, fourth in the nation to Rhode Island ($14,900 per acre) and Connecticut ($12,100 per acre). The next highest farm real estate values are in New Jersey ($13,400 per acre) and California ($8,970 per acre). Massachusetts farmland values grew at an annual rate of 5.2 percent from 1995 through 2017. Connecticut and Rhode Island farm real estate values have grown annually by 4.7 and 5.9 percent since 1995, respectively. For the same period, growth rates have been 6.3 percent in Vermont, 5.3 percent in New Hampshire and 5 percent in Maine. 



Farm real estate values have increased across the U.S., but as Figure 9.2 shows, the values differ widely across regions. The Northeast has typically had the highest farm real estate values in the country; the Northern Plains averaged barely above $450 per acre in 1995, compared to over $2,200 per acre in the Northeast in 1995. This trend, however, has recently shifted. In 2013, farm real estate values in the Corn Belt (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio) far surpassed those in other regions, at $6,400 per acre, and have remained higher than all other regions since then. Farm real estate values in the Pacific region ($5,440 per acre) outstripped those in the Northeast ($5,380 per acre) in 2017.  Every region has seen annual growth rates that exceed the 4.7 percent annual growth of the Northeast, ranging from 5 percent in the Lake States region to 6.3 percent in the Pacific region. As expected, farm real estate values affect production costs. 


Table 1 shows that, while the average farm real estate value is no longer the highest, individual states in the Northeast have the highest 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, and Maryland. Also on the top ten list were three Corn Belt states (Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa) and California. 

New Mexico's farmland value per acre was 4 percent less than that of Rhode Island in 2017; 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 Nebraska. 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. 

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

Table 1: Ten Most Expensive States for Farm Real Estate ($/Acre), 2017   Table 2: Ten Least Expensive States for Farm Real Estate ($/Acre), 2010
Rhode Island $14,900   New Mexico $558
New Jersey $13,400   Wyoming $712
Connecticut $12,100   Montana $917
Massachusetts $10,800   Nevada $1,020
California $8,970   Colorado $1,540
Delaware $8,250   North Dakota $1,740
Maryland $7,620   Oklahoma $1,750
Iowa $7,350   Kansas $1,890
Illinois $7,160   Texas $1,920
Indiana $6,580   South Dakota $2,100