By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension
Ohio cropland varies significantly in its production capabilities and, consequently, cropland values and cash rents vary widely throughout the state. Generally speaking, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ from much of eastern Ohio and parts of southern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. The primary factors affecting these values and rates are land productivity and potential crop return, and the variability of those crop returns. Soils and drainage capabilities are the two factors that heavily influence land productivity, crop return and variability of those crop returns.
Other factors impacting land values and cash rents may include buildings and grain storage, field size and shape, field accessibility, market access, local market prices, field perimeter characteristics and potential for wildlife damage, previous tillage system and crops, tolerant/resistant weed populations, population density, USDA Program Yields, and competition for the cropland in a region. Ultimately, supply and demand of cropland will determine the value or rental rate for each parcel.
The Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents study was conducted from February through April in 2020. The opinion-based study surveyed professionals with a knowledge of Ohio’s cropland values and rental rates. Professionals surveyed were rural appraisers, agricultural lenders, professional farm managers, ag business professionals, OSU Extension educators, farmers, landowners, and Farm Service Agency personnel.
The study results are based on 167 surveys. Respondents were asked to group their estimates based on three land quality classes: average, top, and poor. Within each land-quality class, respondents were asked to estimate average corn and soybean yields for a five-year period based on typical farming practices. Survey respondents were also asked to estimate current bare cropland values and cash rents negotiated in the current or recent year for each land-quality class.
According to the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey, cropland values in western Ohio are expected to decline slightly in 2020 by 1.5% to 2.6% depending on the region and land class. Cash rents are expected to be flat to slightly lower decreasing from 0.7% to 2.0% depending on the region and land class.
For the complete survey research summary go to the OSU Extension FarmOffice website at: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-management-publications/cash-rents