Just released: Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2024 Survey

The cash rental rate information is from a survey of farmers, landowners, agricultural lenders, and professional farm managers. They supplied information based on their best judgments about typical cash rental rates for high, medium, and low quality cropland in their counties, as well as for land devoted to production of hay, oat, and pasture. The survey does not ask about rents for individual farms. The rental rates summarized in this publication do not include the value of any buildings or storage structures, manure application contracts, or seed production contracts.

The cooperation and assistance of the landowners, farmers, and agribusiness professionals who responded to this survey are greatly appreciated. The distribution of the 1,278 responses was 42% from farm operators, 36% from landowners, 8% from professional farm managers and realtors, 8% from agricultural lenders, and 6% from other professions and respondents who chose not to report their status. Respondents indicated being familiar with 1.7 million cash rented acres across the state.

2024 average county cash rents
Ag Decision Maker

An agricultural economics and business website.

AgDM April: When subtraction leads to larger pig crops

Pork producers are getting more pigs per litter. They’re also farrowing a higher percentage of their breeding herds. Those trends enable producers to add to pig crops by subtracting females from their breeding herds. But recent exceptional performance gains may not continue.

Recent litter rates have been exceptional. The year-over-year changes have been exceptional. Expect a slowing rate of increase going forward. If nothing else, we will be comparing to a high base period a year prior. This, however, does not mean litter rates will decrease.

Read more from Dr. Lee Schulz in the April Ag Decision Maker newsletter.

Ag Decision Maker

An agricultural economics and business website.

AgDM April: Preparations for the upcoming crop year

With the calendar shift into April, farmers are gearing up for planting. USDA has provided four major reports that outline crop supplies and demand estimates for both the 2023 and 2024 crops. With the March and April World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports, USDA has provided the markets an update on the shifting set of crop usage for the 2023 crops. With the March releases of the Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports, USDA revealed the sizable crop stocks remaining in farmer hands as we go into planting and the differences between farmers’ planting intentions and USDA’s early projections on crop acreage. Read the full article by Dr. Chad Hart for a summary of how these reports have adjusted the 2024 outlook.

Ag Decision Maker

An agricultural economics and business website.

Impact of the Loss of USDA NASS County Level Reports

County level reports are often used in farm level decisions, for example, many flexible lease agreements utilize the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) county average yields. If NASS reported county yields are used in flexible leases or other farm decisions, start discussions early on alternative options, such as farm level yields reported to crop insurance or county level yields reported by USDA Risk Management Agency. Using yield estimates as reported by USDA avoids the question of how to measure the actual production and removed the influence that above or below average management ability has on yields. USDA NASS yields were not announced until March following the crop year, but were well ahead of yields released by USDA RMA in June following the crop year. With the impact these changes will have, a secondary yield should be discussed in the event the original chosen source isn’t reported.

Full news release: NASS discontinues select 2024 data collection programs and reports

Issued April 9, 2024, by the Agricultural Statistics Board of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is canceling the July Cattle report and discontinuing the Cotton Objective Yield Survey, as well as all County Estimates for Crops and Livestock beginning with the 2024 production year. The decision to discontinue these surveys and reports was not made lightly, but was necessary, given appropriated budget levels.
NASS has and will continue to review its estimating programs using criteria focused on the needs of its mission and customers to prioritize budget decisions. Information about all NASS surveys and reports is available online at nass.usda.gov.

USDA NASS Newsroom, https://www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/Notices/2024/04-09-2024.php
Ag Decision Maker

An agricultural economics and business website.

Internal and external uses compete for hay and grazing land

Cow-calf producers need forages. Corn stalks can supplement forage supplies. Still, pasture and hay are the key forage resources. Growing forages takes land.

On-farm land use decisions involve trade-offs. If you choose to grow hay to earn income from cattle, you give up the opportunity to earn income from growing something else, corn for example, on that land. Economists call earnings you forego to use your resources where you choose, rather than employing them somewhere else, opportunity cost. All resources–land, labor, machinery, capital–can be employed somewhere else. Thus, all resources have opportunity costs wherever you choose to employ those resources.

Competition for land is intense

Most agricultural land in Iowa, 25,881,597 acres or 86.3% of the total land in farms, is used to grow crops. Of this cropland, 23,520,694 acres are harvested cropland, 2,078,005 acres are cropland idle or used for cover crops or soil-improvement, but not harvested and not pastured or grazed, 255,065 acres are other pasture and grazing land that could have been used for crops without additional improvement, 27,213 acres are cropland on which all crops failed or were abandoned, and 620 acres are cropland in summer fallow.

Woodland accounts for 1,224,543 acres or 4.1% of all agricultural land in Iowa. A majority of this is woodland not pastured versus woodland pastured at 921,340 acres and 303,203 acres, respectively. Permanent pasture and rangeland, other than cropland and woodland pastured, accounts for 1,687,658 acres or 5.6% of all agricultural land in Iowa (Figure 1). Land in farmsteads, homes, buildings, livestock facilities, ponds, roads, wasteland, etc. is 1,184,367 acres or 4.0% of Iowa’s agricultural land.

Read the full article by Dr. Lee Schulz in the March Ag Decision Maker newsletter.

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