Farmland Barometer - January 2011

Prime Farmland Values across Central Illinois rose 14% in 2010. Most of the increase showed up after Thanksgiving (as commodity prices sky rocketed). Our chart of prime farmland values notes year ending values of $8,000 per acre! Hang on tight - - here we go!

History is our teacher in these uncertain times! Bruce J. Sherrick, PhD. at the University of Illinois highlights the 10.45% combined returns to farmland from 1970 through 2009 (which is well above all alternative investments over the last 40 years). Yes - - Agriculture is a bright spot on the world stage!

Rapid price improvements always bring on talk of a bubble - - and anything is possible. However - - farmland is what it earns - - and higher yields are combining with excellent grain prices to provide the profits that are propelled all types of farmland values higher. There is no bubble in farmland - - it is solid as a rock. Let's watch farmland earnings from here forward for any change.

We have taken a hard look at several items in this issue including: