real estate

Farmland prices increase at concerning rates

May 30, 2013
Fishawk via 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.

Energy House
File Photo / KBIA

New housing figures for Columbia are showing that the number of homes sold so far in 2012 has already surpassed the yearly total from the year 2011. Thanks to the 117 homes sold in October, this year’s tally of sold homes has already bested that 2011 amount by more than 100. The Columbia Board of Realtors says that 1,629 homes have been sold between January and October.

Howard Audsley has been driving through Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County on a recent day, he stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold in February for $10,700 per acre, double what it would have gone for five years ago.

Heading out into the field, Audsley picked up a clod of the dirt that makes this pocket of land some of the priciest in the state.