17-01-2014 10:41 AM | USA

Northern U.S. farmland values leveling off

Prices of top quality farm land in the northern U.S. Midwest and Plains stayed firm in 2013, but there were clear signs the market for average quality crop and grazing land was leveling off, a lending unit of the government-linked Farm Credit System said on Wednesday.

"After years of a steady rise led by lower than average U.S. yields, strong domestic and international demand for commodities, low interest rates and solid profit margins, we're seeing the rate of price increases leveling off for farmland in some areas we serve," said Mark Jensen, senior vice president at Farm Credit Services of America, an Omaha-based FCS subsidiary and a leading lender to farmers and ranchers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Jensen said the bank's review of 3,500 farm land transactions in 2013 in its four states and its annual review of 65 "benchmark" farms tracked for 30 years, "suggest the market for farmland is leveling off and in some areas softening."
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