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Nebraska grazing land values surge 13%

Nebraska grazing land values surge 13%

By Scout Nelson

In 2024, Nebraska's agricultural sector witnessed a significant uptick in land values, particularly in grazing land, as per the preliminary results for the state's ag land and rental rates. The market value for all agricultural land in Nebraska averaged $4,015 per acre, marking a 5% increase from the previous year. The real standout was grazing land, which saw remarkable increases ranging from 6% to 8%.

Non-tillable grazing land surged by an impressive 13% in certain districts, including the North, East, Southwest, and Southeast regions. For example, non-tillable grazing land in the North now averages around $982 per acre, showcasing the robustness of the market in these areas.

This surge in grazing land values is attributed to various factors, with cow-calf producers benefiting notably from higher prices. The increase in cow-calf prices has incentivized investment in grazing land, particularly in competitive areas of the state. As a result, both tillable grazing land and hayland also experienced gains, albeit slightly lower at 7% and 6%, respectively.

The positive momentum didn't stop at land values; rental rates for pasture and cow-calf pairs also saw an upward trend across Nebraska in 2024. Rates increased by an average of 5% to 8% compared to the previous grazing season. For instance, in the northern part of the state, the average per pair rate rose to $73.95, reflecting a 6% change from the previous year.

Several factors are influencing this surge in rental rates. The decline in national cattle inventories has led to higher cattle prices, prompting landlords to adjust rental rates accordingly. Considerations for drought conditions in the upcoming growing season have prompted discussions around early removal provisions in leases.

Lease negotiations are becoming increasingly important, with both landlords and tenants seeking favorable terms. Key considerations include responsibilities for fencing upkeep, control of noxious weeds or brush, and the payment of utility bills used for livestock wells. With grazing land cash rental rates on the rise, negotiating these terms effectively is crucial for both parties involved.

The agricultural landscape in Nebraska is experiencing a period of growth and prosperity, driven by rising land values and rental rates. For stakeholders in the sector, whether landowners or tenants, understanding these market dynamics and engaging in informed negotiations will be key to maximizing returns and ensuring sustainable growth in the years to come.

Photo Credit -gettyimages-sizsus

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