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Houston County land rent survey mirrors national trend

Thu, Dec 15th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Based on the results of the recently completed Houston County Land Rent Survey, the farmland rent trend mirrors the rest of the nation. Participation increased to sixty-eight usable parcel surveys representing 4,935 acres of tillable crop land. I especially want to thank Kevin Elton and the Houston County FSA Office for including the Houston County Land Rent Survey in their recent mailing.

The range of responses in the survey went from $37.50 to $300 /acre. The 2011 average rent per tillable acre reported was $157.17 /acre, up from the 2011 projection of $142.45 in last year's survey. The projection for 2012 is $162.45 /acre. No one projected a rental decrease.

Strangely enough, those who filled out the survey form last year and checked the box Operator or Landowner was exactly at 50 percent. This year's survey only had 68 percent respond to that question, and those that did were 80 percent landlords.

I started breaking out the results by parcel size a few years ago. The survey showed parcels of less than 20 acres averaged $131.55 /acre, while those parcels from 20-79 acres averaged $150.25. It would appear small parcels are discounted almost $30/acre while the mid-size parcels are discounted much less.

Other information gathered with the survey include: 15 percent rent from a family member, and averaged $141.35 /acre; 12 percent have other facilities such as grain bins or pole sheds included.

When rental payments are made is also of interest. The most common by far is the first half payment in the spring and the second half in the fall.

Completed responses included:

½ spring, ½ fall 69%

All fall 4%

All Spring 15%

Other Schedules 12%

This is my seventh year for the Houston County Land Rent Survey. Each year, something unique appears. This year, when looking at township results, it seemed that in many townships the range is about $100 from the lowest rent reported to the highest. There were responses from sixteen townships, so a good cross section of Houston County. For those townships with three or more responses I do a township average and range. To discuss these results or receive a copy, contact the Houston County Extension Office at 507-725-5807 or tesme001@umn.edu, or check the University of Minnesota Extension website at www.extension.umn.edu/county/houston.

Another source of land rent information is at the Center for Farm Financial Management at www.cffm.umn.edu click on Publications, then Farm Management, and finally "Rental Rates for MN Counties - 2011". They do not list Houston County separately due to a lack of Farm Management participants in Houston County, but you can see results from other counties. These numbers are extracted from FINBIN -- a database of farm record summaries of nearly 2,400 Minnesota farmers. The farmers participate in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Farm Business Management program, as well the Southwestern and Southeastern Minnesota Farm Business Management Associations.

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