Idaho cropland rental rates 8 percent higher in 2022
By Sean Ellis
Idaho Farm Bureau Federation
POCATELLO – The average cost to rent cropland in Idaho rose 8 percent this year compared with last year, according to USDA data released Aug. 5.
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates average cash rent expense for all cropland in Idaho at $194 an acre in 2022, up $14, or 8 percent, compared with 2021.
Average rental expense for irrigated farmland in Idaho is estimated at $262 per acre this year, up $26, or 11 percent, over last year, and non-irrigated farm ground expense is estimated at $65.50 an acre in 2022, up $2.50, or 4 percent.
Industry experts disagree whether that average farm ground rental rate is accurate – some think it’s much higher – but they agree that rental farm ground rates are increasing.
“The point is, they are going up,” said University of Idaho Agricultural Economist Garth Taylor.
With commodity prices on the rise, it’s no big shocker that ag land rental rates are also on the rise, said Robert Morrison, owner of Robert Morrison Appraisal, which works with East Idaho farms, ranches and agricultural facilities.
“There is no question those rates have gone up and it’s due to commodity prices increasing,” he said. “There’s a lot of competition out there for good, quality ground with water.”
Rising farm values due to high buyer demand and inflation in general are also pushing up rents, said Janey Knipe, an associate broker for Knipe Land Co., a farm and ranch real estate firm that focuses on land sales throughout the Northwest.
“I’m not shocked,” she said about the increased farmland rental rate in Idaho. “With the appreciation we are seeing in land, ag land rental rates have to increase so there is a capitalization rate, although it be small for the investor. Unfortunately, it’s just another input cost increase for the farmer.”
Farmland rental rates in Idaho differ greatly depending on location and which commodity is being grown and some rental rates are much higher than the average rate reported by NASS, Taylor said.
“They are out the ceiling in some cases,” he said.
According to NASS, the average rental rate for cropland in Idaho has risen from $159 an acre in 2019 to $171 in 2020 to $180 last year and $194 this year.
The average rental cost of irrigated cropland in Idaho has risen from $216 an acre in 2019 to $225 in 2020 to $236 in 2021 to $262 in 2022.
The average rental cost of non-irrigated cropland in the state has gone from $56 an acre in 2019 to $62 in 2020 to $63 in 2020 to $65.50 in 2022.
NASS estimates show the average rental rate for cropland in the United States rose 5 percent, or $7 an acre, this year, to $148 an acre. The average rental rate for irrigated cropland in the U.S. is estimated at $227 an acre this year, up 5 percent, or $10, from last year.
The average rental cost of non-irrigated farmland in the U.S. this year is estimated at $135 an acre, up 6 percent, or $7, compared with last year.
The average rental rate for cropland in Washington was $217 an acre in 2022, according to NASS. That’s a drop of 2 percent, or $5 an acre. The average rental rate for irrigated cropland in Washington this year is estimated at $430 an acre, up 9 percent, or $35, from last year.
The average rental rate for cropland in Oregon this year is $182 an acre, up $1 from last year. The average rental rate for irrigated cropland in Oregon this year was $261 an acre, up 7 percent, or $16, over last year.
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