Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Publication by the Department of Agricultural Economics, Report # 97, June 1979. Website address is

The Authors express their appreciation to the survey reporters for their participation and returning the Nebraska farm real estate Market survey questionnaire. Without their efforts and interest, the availability and publication of the data within this report would not be possible.


Farm real estate values in Nebraska have trended upward for several decades with only a few interruptions. In Nebraska as well as most of the Nation, dramatic increases have occurred within the last six years. The year 1978-79 was no exception.

Data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for February 1, 1979 showed a 22 percent increase in the average value of Nebraska farmland from a year earlier. This was certainly in contrast to the 4 percent drop in land values reported for 1977-78.

Results of the second annual Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey conducted by the Department of Agricultural Economics also indicated large increases in land values among the crop reporting districts across the State. Improved optimism this past year among buyers for various reasons was largely responsible for the higher land prices being paid in the market.

Expansion of the present farming operation and hedging against inflation remained as the dominant reasons among buyers for purchasing land. Estate settlement, retirement, and financial problems were again the most frequently given reasons for selling land, implying that present land owners have a tight hold on their land and will not sell unless forced to do so. These conditions point to even higher land values for Nebraska in 1980.

Approximately 20 percent of all rented farmland in Nebraska is cash rented. The frequency and importance of cash rental leases varies significantly among Nebraska's crop reporting districts, ranging from 44 percent of all rented land in the North district to only 10.5 percent in the Northwest district. Cash rental rates as a percentage of the estimated current farm real estate market value averaged 7 percent for irrigated cropland, 6 percent for dryland cropland and 4.7 percent for grazing land.