UNL Releases Preliminary Farm Real Estate Market Survey Results


By: Jessica Groskopf and Jim Jansen

UNL released the Preliminary Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey Results earlier this month. The survey revealed that Nebraska agricultural land increased in value for the reporting year ending February 1, 2023. This marks the second-largest increase in the market value of agricultural land in Nebraska since 2014 and the highest non-inflation-adjusted state-wide land value in the 45-year history of the survey.

This article reviews the preliminary results for the Northwest District of Nebraska. The Northwest District includes Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, and Sioux Counties.

The average farmland value in the Northwest District of Nebraska is estimated to be $935 per acre, 13 percent higher than the prior year.  In the Northwest District, dryland cropland saw the largest increase in value, rising 21 percent to an average of $905 per acre. Center Pivot Irrigated Cropland had the smallest percentage increase with a 7 percent change to $3,280 per acre.

Preliminary UNL Farm Real Estate Survey Results, Average Reported Value of Nebraska Farmland for Different Land Types in Northwest Nebraska per Acre as of February 1, 2023, Percent Change from 2022

·         All Land Average, $935, +13%

·         Dryland Cropland (No Irrigation Potential), $905, +21%

·         Dryland Cropland (Irrigation Potential), $985, +15%

·         Gravity Irrigated Cropland, $2,760, +10%

·         Center Pivot Irrigated Cropland, $3,280, +7%

·         Grazing Land (Tillable), $735, +18%

·         Grazing Land (Nontillable), $575, +13%

·         Hayland, $930, +12%

Land industry professionals responding to the annual survey attributed the rise in Nebraska agricultural real estate values to current crop and livestock prices, purchases for operation expansion, the financial health of current owners, and as a hedge against inflation.

Cash farmland rental rates are also reported by the survey. Cropland rental rates in the Northwest District saw a 9 to 12 percent increase while grazing rates, both pasture per acre and cow-calf pair, saw a 7 percent increase over last year.

Preliminary Reported Cash Rental Rates for Various Types of Nebraska Farmland and Pasture in Northwest Nebraska, Low-High Land Quality Range, 2023 Average, Percent Change from 2022

Reported per acre per year, unless otherwise noted.

·         Dryland Cropland, $28- $49, Average: $37, +10%

·         Gravity Irrigated Cropland, $110-$185, Average: $145, +12%

·         Center Pivot Irrigated Cropland, $155-$230, Average $190, +9%

·         Pasture, $13- $20, Average: $15, +7%

·         Cow-Calf Pair (Per Pair, Per Month), $38.15- $51.95, $46.05, +7%

Land values and rental rates presented in this report are averages of survey participants’ responses by District. Actual land values and rental rates may vary depending upon the quality of the parcel and local market for an area.

Preliminary land values and rental rates are subject to change as additional surveys are returned. Final results from the survey will be published in June 2023 and will be available online via the Nebraska Farm Real Estate website:

Interested in learning more about farmland leasing?

A virtual landlord/tenant cash rent workshop will be held on March 24 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Central time. This workshop will be hosted by the Center for Agricultural Profitability at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The workshop will offer updated leasing information relevant to landlords and tenants, including new 2023 Nebraska land values and cash rental rates, tips for communication, and negotiating. They will address topics like equitable rental rates, managing and adjusting farmland leases, landlord-tenant issues, pasture leasing, crop share leasing, and other management considerations.

The presentations will be led by Allan Vyhnalek, an extension educator specializing in farm and ranch transition and succession, and Jim Jansen, an extension agricultural economist.

The virtual workshop will be held on Zoom and is free to attend, but registration is required. Register online at