As the prospects for forage-based biofuel crops appear limited in the near future, one of the key factors in the run-up of cropland prices does not directly apply to pasture. However, high corn and other feed ingredient prices increase the value of pasture for putting gain on cattle and this can be expected to continue while commodity prices are high. While demand for high end products slowed during the economic downturn, beef demand remained strong. Growing exports have also contributed to what are now record high beef prices. If world income continues to increase and with it, the demand for protein internationally, beef demand could increase, providing support for beef prices and pasture land values from an agricultural income perspective. Anecdotal evidence from agricultural lenders suggests that, during the national economic slowdown, the rate of growth in price increases for land purchased for recreational use slowed. Still, recreational use remains important and U.S. population continues to grow.

For More Information

Doye, D. and R. Sahs. (2010). “OSU Rental Rate Survey.” Unpublished data.

Guiling, P., Doye, D., and Brorsen, B.W. (2009). Why has the price of pasture increased relative to the price of cropland? Journal of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, 73, 99-111.

Briggeman, B. and Akers, M. (2010). “Farmland values and farm income soar.” Survey of Tenth District Agricultural Credit Conditions. 4th Quarter. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Available online: http://www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/research/indicatorsdata/agcredit/AGCR4Q10.pdf

Peterson, W. (1986). “Land quality and prices.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 68(4), 812-819.

United States Census Bureau. (2009). Population Estimates. Available online: http://www.census.gov/popest/gallery/maps/

United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. (2007). Census of Agriculture. Available online: http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/index.asp.

United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. (2010). Charts and Maps of Land Values and Rental Rates. Available online:  http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Land_Values_and_Cash_Rents/index.asp

United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. (2009). Summary Report, 2007 National Resources Inventory. Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington, DC, and Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/NRI/2007/2007_NRI_Summary.pdf

United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. (2003). Urbanization and Development of Rural Land. National Resources Inventory 2001. Available online: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/NRI/2001/nri01dev.html

United States Department of Agriculture.(2010). Land Values and Cash Rents 2010 Summary. Available online: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1446

United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service and United Sates Department of Commerce Census Bureau. (2006). 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. Available online: http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/fishing.html