Farm Real-Estate Values Post Rare Decline





Farm real-estate values fell for the first time in more than 20 years, according to government statistics released Tuesday.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said in its annual report that the value of all land and buildings on U.S. farms averaged $2,100 an acre Jan. 1, down 3.2% from last year. The decline in farm real-estate values was the first since 1987, the agency said.

Farm real-estate values had been climbing steadily over the past decade, reaching record levels last year amid soaring grain prices and a growing interest in using corn and soybeans for biofuels. The rural boom also attracted speculators and investors looking to profit from the rise in land prices across the Farm Belt.

But a deflation of the commodity markets and the overall wilting of the economy are now trickling down to the farm.



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