The Nation : Value of Farms Down 12%
The value of American farmland plummeted 12% in the last year--the largest yearly decline since the Great Depression, the Agriculture Department said. Land values, driven by farmers’ credit problems, low commodity prices and high interest rates, dropped for the fourth straight year, a department spokesman said. The Midwest was hardest hit in the last year, suffering losses of 20% or more. The annual assessment of farmland values is compiled through surveys of farmers, lenders, real estate agents, appraisers, farm managers and others involved in farmland markets. Nationally, farmland averaged $697 an acre on April 1, down from $782 last year.