Pasture values showed a choppy pattern throughout the U.S., with some regions enjoying solid gains while others saw declines, according to USDA’s Land Values 2011 Summary.

By region, the Corn Belt and Northern Plains both showed a 6.6% gain in 2011 over 2010 pasture values. However, in terms of dollars, the Corn Belt, at an average $2,100/acre, was quite a bit pricier than the Northern Plains average of $553/acre. Iowa led the surge in the Corn Belt, showing a 26.2% increase in pastureland value, with each acre fetching an average of $2,650. In the Northern Plains, North Dakota led the region, showing 10.8% increase in land values, at $410/acre.

Interestingly, the Southeast region claimed two titles – the largest drop in pastureland values and the most expensive pasture real estate in the nation. The Southeast endured an average drop in pastureland value of 8.4%. While all states in the region showed a decline in land value, Florida led the way with a 10.8% drop in land values, at $4,500. Georgia, which dropped 7.4%, had the highest average pastureland value of the major cattle producing states in the nation at $5,000/acre.

Cropland values showed a similar choppy pattern, although more states and regions showed an increase compared with pasture values. The Northern Plains showed the biggest jump with a 17.2% increase in cropland value over 2010, with an average value of $1,700/acre. North Dakota again took the honors, showing a 19.5% increase to $1,040/acre.

The Corn Belt showed strong gains as well, with a 16% increase to $4,920/acre. Iowa led the region with a 23.9% increase in cropland value, to $5,700/acre. Illinois, however, led the region in average value at $5,800/acre.

Of the major crop-producing states in the nation, California led the way in value/acre at $9,320, up 1.1% over last year.

The Southeast and the Northeast were the only two regions to show a drop in cropland value. The Northeast fell 1.3% to $5,190/acre. The Southeast saw a 1.1% drop to $3,650/acre.

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