(Ames, Iowa)  Iowa State University's latest farm land value report shows a decline in values for the third year in a row.   

ISU Agriculture Economist Wendong Zhang says it's the first time there's been a decline for three consecutive years since the 1980s farm crisis.

The report finds average land values dropped 5.9 percent in the past 12 months.

The average value per acre is nearly 72-hundred dollars, which his down from 87-hundred dollars an acre in 2013, when values hit historic highs.


Zhang says the golden era of phenomenal, abnormal growth in farm income and land values between 2006 and 2013 has ended, and the market is going through an adjustment, at the same time the ag sector is adjusting to tougher times..


He says the probability of a replay of the 1980s farm crisis is low because of steady farm income before the downturn, a stronger goverment safety net, and lower debt.   


Zhang notes the ethanol boom and historically low interest rates drove five consecutive years of double digit growth in average farmland values.


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