The average value of an acre of Iowa farmland increased by just over $700 during the past year, to an all-time high of $3,908, according to an annual survey conducted by Iowa State University (ISU) Extension. The land boom is being driven by the developing biofuels economy, according to Mike Duffy, ISU Extension farm economist who conducts the survey.

Duffy says the 22% increase recorded this year is the greatest one-year increase since 1976, and marks a new record for the fifth year in a row. Since the year 2000, Iowa land values have increased an average of $2,051/acre, more than a 100% increase over the 2000 average value of $1,857.

“My general feeling is that the land market will remain strong for at least the next five years,” Duffy says. “We have seen a fundamental shift in demand for corn due to ethanol production. I don't think this demand will diminish in the near future.”

For more information, check out www.extension.iastate.edu/landvalue/.