Even though farm income only saw a slight increase between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013, there continued to be a rapid rise in the value of farmland, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which surveyed agricultural banks in parts of seven Midwestern states, including Missouri and Illinois. 

Kevin Kliesen, business economist and research officer with the Fed in St. Louis, says there’s anecdotal reports that some of the money is coming from big, institutional, including foreign, investors.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

The new company Fquare is bringing crowd-sourcing to the increasingly lucrative market of investing in farmland.

Farmland prices increase at concerning rates

May 30, 2013
Fishawk / Flickr

Farmland prices in mid-Missouri have reached record highs - more than doubling over the last 10 years. But historical trends may give farmers reason for concern.  

Cattle tramp through the mud on Nathan Martin’s Centralia farm.

There are about 360 head here.  There’s corn and soybeans growing, too.

Martin bought the land in 1983, and has been working it full-time since.

It was after prices started dropping, and bottomed out three years later.