Even as farmers showed evidence of reduced farmland
purchases, overall demand to purchase farmland strengthened.
With nonfarm buyers filling the gap in demand, moderating
rates of increase in the value of “good” agricultural
land were the result, as compared with a year ago, for the
Seventh Federal Reserve District. Based on a survey of 281
agricultural bankers as of April 1, 2003, the quarterly increase
in farmland values slowed to 1 percent, on average,
for the District as a whole. For the twelve months ending
March 31, the increase was 6 percent, matching the yearover-
year increase of last year. Fewer bankers expected
farmland values to decline and more expected farmland
values to go up in the next three months. The bankers reported
that the amount of farmland for sale in recent months
was about the same as last year, but the number and acreage
of farms sold were slightly higher than a year earlier.
Cash rental rates for farmland were above the level of a
year ago, as farm operations in the District continued to
shift toward cash rental arrangements.