Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics (March 2012)


Published by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics. Copyright © [2012] Board of Regents, University of Nebraska.


In today's bullish agricultural land markets across the nation's heartland, it is easy to attribute the climb in values to strong demand on the part of buyers wanting to invest in land to capture good returns of recent years. While true, that may be only half the story underlying the land market dynamics. Just as "it takes two to tango," it takes the supply side of the market as well as demand to create the land market dance.

We have been following the market for many years, observing the amount of land being offered for sale in any given time period. Historically, the agricultural land market has almost always been a “thin market,” with no more than three to four percent of the land base sold in any given year. That would suggest that the average probability of any typical agricultural land parcel coming onto the market was about once every 25 to 30+ years.