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Cropland values, cash rents higher in 2010

WILLMAR -- Following a modest decline in 2009, Minnesota cropland values moved higher again in 2010. Meanwhile, average cash rental rates for Minnesota cropland continued their uninterrupted and steady upward climb.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average cropland values in Minnesota increased by 6.1 percent over the last year, to an average of $2,770 per acre, up from $2,610 per acre in 2009.

Average cropland values in the United States increased by 1.1 percent from 2009, to an average of $2,700 per acre, up from $2,670 per acre in 2009.

In the Northern Plains and Delta regions, average cropland values increased 6.9 and 6.1 percent, respectively. However, in the Southeast and Mountain regions, average cropland values decreased by 5.3 and 5.0 percent, respectively.

Average cash rental rates for Minnesota cropland continued their long-term upward trend, increasing by an average of 7.1 percent, to an average price of $121 per acre, up from $113 per acre in 2009.

Nationally, cropland cash rental rates increased by 3 percent in 2010, to an average of $102 per acre, up from $99 per acre in 2009.

In the Northern Plains region, cropland cash rents increased by $2.50 per acre in 2010, to an average of $71 per acre. Cropland cash rents in the Corn Belt region increased by $3 per acre, to an average of $152 per acre.

The Corn Belt and Northern Plains regions together account for slightly more than half of the cash rented cropland acreage in the United States.

The major corn and soybean producing states of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa all reported increases in their average cash rental rates. However, the percent of increase was much smaller than Minnesota's.

The 2010 average cash rental rates for Illinois, Indiana and Iowa cropland are $169, $141 and $176 per acre, respectively.

The cropland value estimates provided by USDA are based primarily on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of June.

Data regarding cash rental rates were gathered from surveys conducted during the months of March through June. The sample size of the 2010 cash rent survey was approximately 225,000.

All responses were passed through a computer edit to check for consistency. Data were then further reviewed to detect outliers and erroneous data. All suspect data were either confirmed or corrected.

The final 2010 county cash rental rate estimates will be published on Sept. 10.

To view the entire report, visit USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service website at:

Catfish and asparagus producers qualify for assistance

Minnesota catfish and asparagus producers will have until Sept. 23 to apply for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which provides technical training and cash benefits to eligible producers whose crops have been adversely affected by foreign competition.

Catfish and asparagus producers interested in applying for technical training and cash benefits must complete and submit a written application to their local Farm Service Agency office.

The purpose of the technical assistance training is to help producers identify ways of modifying their farming operations that will allow them to compete effectively with imported products, or even convert to producing other more profitable commodities.

Producers that develop an approved initial business plan can receive up to $4,000 to implement the plan. Those developing a long-term business adjustment plan could earn an additional $8,000.

To qualify, producers must have produced catfish or asparagus in 2009, and in at least one of the three marketing years preceding 2009. Producers must also provide documentation to verify their production.

More information regarding the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program can be found on the Foreign Agricultural Service website at:

Wes Nelson is executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in Kandiyohi County.