The value of farmland in Illinois continues to rise. The USDA reports that Illinois cropland, worth an average of $4,590 an acre in 2009, has gone up in value every year since, and last year was worth $7,190 an acre – a 56 percent increase. Gary Schnitkey, a University of Illinois professor of farm management, says with commodity prices strong, farmers have money and bankers are willing to lend.
Schnitkey says the value of farmland for development isn’t what it was before the housing bust, but he says the land is valued more when it’s near cities such as Champaign, Decatur and Bloomington. The value of all agricultural real estate in Illinois – cropland, pastureland and farm buildings – is pegged at $190 billion, up from $119 billion in 2009.
Last March, prime farmground south of Aledo brought $16,200 an acre at an auction.