Iowa Appraisal

Iowa Land Auction Prices, February 3-9, 2017

Posted on February 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM by Jim Rothermich

Greetings!  More acres were offered at auction this week compared to last week’s results.  There was a total of 1,367 acres offered at auction.  Of those acres, there were 1,228 tillable.  All farms were sold and there were no “no sales.”  I would describe the land market as very good.  Here are the highlights:

  • 457 acres sold in Warren County- offered in five tracts:
    • Tract 1- 71 acres- $15,550/acre- 69 tillable acres- CSR2- 82.0 (future development)
    • Tract 2- 90 acres- $7,650/acre- 83 tillable acres- CSR2- 61.0
    • Tract 3- 98 acres- $9,100/acre- 92 tillable acres- CSR2- 64
    • Tract 4- 51 acres- $4,300/acre- 47 tillable acres- CSR2- 57.0 (River Bottom)
    • Tract 5- 132 acres-$5,300/acre- 114 tillable acres- CSR2- 74.0 (River Bottom)
  • 109 acres sold in Jasper County- $3,700/acre- 63 tillable acres- CSR2- 45.0
  • 334 acres sold in Marion County- offered in two tracts and purchased as one unit- $9,426/acre- 303 tillable acres- CSR2- 83.0
  • 76 acres sold in Grundy County- $12,000/acre- 74 tillable acres- CSR2- 92.0
  • 244 acres sold in Harrison County- offered in two tracts:
    • 126 acres- $8,300/acre- 123 tillable acres- CSR2- 81.0
    • 117 acres- $6,500/acre- 108 tillable acres- CSR2- 57.0
  • 160 acres sold in Winnebago County- $8,600/acre- 153 tillable acres- CSR2- 81.0

For new blog readers who are not familiar with CSR and its replacement, CSR2, below is an explanation of these terms. 

CSR = Corn Suitability Rating.  The Corn Suitability Rating is an index that was developed by Iowa State University in 1971for the purpose of rating each different soil according to its potential to produce corn. The rating is based on soil properties, average weather and the inherent potential of each kind of soil.  As such, the CSR can be used to rate one soil’s yield/production potential against another over a period of time. The top rating of the index is 100 — the absolute ideal soil for producing corn.  While rare, a few CSR 100 soils do exist in the southeast areas of the state.

The new “CSR2” is an update of the CSR. It was developed by Iowa State’s Dr. C. Lee Burras. The update is a result of the USDA’s Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS) resurvey and reclassification of soils in counties throughout the state. The CSR2 incorporates more subcomponents of NRCS’s soil classifications into the calculation. It’s designed to generate values similar to the original CSR “but with greater transparency, consistency and ease,” while having “CSR2 consistent with today’s soil mapping, classification and government programs,” Burras says.

How to use the CSR2? You can use a farm’s CSR2 three ways. First, you can use it to compare two pieces of ground. Second, you can compare the farm’s CSR2 versus the county average to see how the farm compares to all the farms in the county. (Click here for Iowa State University’s map showing average cropland CSR2s by county.)  Third, you can use the CSR2 to estimate land value by dividing a farm’s sale price per acre by the CSR2 and applying it against similar farms in the same area.  (Source:  LandOwner Newsletter, Vol. 38, Iss.3)

Most of the auctions listed this week exceeded realtors’ expectations.  There is a lot of optimism in rural areas for 2017, and it is showing up in land prices.

“That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!”  Please check back next week to see what the Iowa land market is doing.

Jim “the Land Talker”

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