After a few months of positive cash flows, dairy farmers in the Wisconsin’s 5th largest dairy county, and the state’s capitol, are pushing land prices to five figures. Dane County Wisconsin, while 5th in Wisconsin, is 27th in the U.S. for the value of milk sold by county, according to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture.

The Wisconsin State Journal says that purchase costs are nearing five-times the state average land price, though it should be noted that Dane County holds Madison – the state capital – and 488,073 residents as of 2010.  However, the figures cited in the article were specifically land that was not scheduled for development.

Topping the charts was a $17,214 per acre purchase in December in Vienna, Wis. Vienna is a 15-minute drive from Madison’s city center, and is sandwiched between DeForest, on Interstate 39/90/94, and Waunakee, a town of 12,000. That sale is 3.5 times the average 2013 sale in the higher-populated south-central Wisconsin, and over 4.75 times the state average of $3,586.

Officials quoted in the article that the high prices not only keep younger farmers out, but also send larger farms looking at expansion to other parts of the state.

Other Vienna sales include $17,214 per acre for 77 acres, $12,300 for 20 acres, $14,927 for 39 acres, $11,000 for 95 acres in 2010, and $12,726 per acre on 344 acres in 2011. Meanwhile, as late as 2010 68 acres went for $682,000.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal