The average value of an acre of farmland in Iowa hit $2,275 last year, the highest figure reported since Iowa State University (ISU) began conducting its annual survey of land values in 1941.

The 2003 average value topped the previous record of $2,147 reported in 1981.

ISU ag economist Mike Duffy conducts the survey. He says that, adjusted for the effect of inflation on the value of the dollar, the 2003 figure is equal to the value of land in the early 1970s, when increasing values began, leading to the 1981 peak.

Duffy also says low interest rates were the major factor in land value increases last year and were mentioned by 48% of those responding to the survey.