As news circulates of real estate value woes, farm land in Wisconsin is more valuable than ever. The State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has released its annual survey on 2007 land sales. From 1998 to 2007, land values nearly tripled in Barron, Eau Claire, Buffalo and Pepin counties, as well as more than tripling in Pierce County. Elsewhere in the state, agriculture land value has more than doubled in that time.
Ed Jesse, UW-Extension Agriculture Professor, says one reason is because long term investors look to eventually develop the land for other use such as recreation.
However, the economist says the main reason is the value of the goods that could be produced on the land.
"Commodity prices have gone up substantially for major grains as well as livestock products and that in turn has put upward pressure on land prices, "says Jesse.
The professor does not believe land currently being developed is factoring heavily into the value. He adds a minor amount of parcels are being converted while much acreage remains idle.