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Where have cash rents increased the most?

Cash rental rates have been climbing over the past decade, but the biggest increases have happened outside the Corn Belt.

David Widmar, managing partner at Agricultural Economic Insights, tells Brownfield…

“We had really big changes, 50% changes, in cash rental rates,” he says, “in the northern Great Plains, in the western parts of say, Kansas, and parts of Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and even southern parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.”

He says it’s the result of farmers cropping decisions.

“Thinking about the Great Plains, they might’ve been planting other small grains or wheat acreage, and now they’re able to plant more corn and soybeans.”  He says, “The biggest changes have occurred in those areas where we’ve added new corn and soybean acres.”

Widmar says since 2020 many cash rents in the Corn Belt have significantly increased.

You start looking at the heart of the Corn Belt, Illinois, Iowa, even parts of Indiana and Minnesota and Missouri,” he says, “you see a lot of these states, these counties, had more than 15% increases between 2020 and 2023. These are some really big changes.”

Widmar says 11% of counties, primarily in Oklahoma, Texas, and the Southeast, actually saw cash rents decline over the past decade. 

AUDIO: David Widmar – managing partner at Agricultural Economic Insights

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