"There are other causes for the increase," Duffy said. "Interest rates are at the lowest level in recent memory."
The Iowa State survey underscores the strong gains in Midwest and Plains farmland seen in recent Federal Reserve reports. The quarterly survey of Midwest bankers conducted by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank estimated Iowa farmland values rose 18 percent in the July-September period from a year ago. Grain farmers not only benefited from a late bump in their drought-hit corn and soybean yields but also saw balance sheets enriched by crop insurance payments.
The survey said that the highest land values were reported for northwestern Iowa, where farmland values averaged $11,404 per acre while the lowest were in south central corner of the state averaging $4,308 per acre.
In October, a parcel of 80 acres of crop land in northwestern Iowa sold for a record $21,900 an acre.