2020 Iowa Average Cash Rent Values Show Stability

By: Iowa Land Company

2020 Iowa Average Cash Rent Values Show Stability


Now that fall is here and harvest is in full swing, it’s a great time to look back at the 2020 average cash rent in Iowa. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach recently completed their Cash Rental Rate Survey. Iowa Land Company’s farm managers and land brokers follow localized rental rates very closely throughout the state while helping negotiate cash rent prices and calculating cap rates on various properties for both buyers and sellers. With that said, it’s important to note that our territory professionals agree with the most recent survey published by Iowa State University so feel confident that if you’re using the information below to negotiate cash rent prices with your tenant you have accurate information. Below is a map of the nine crop reporting territory boundaries.



There were 1,592 different farm operators, landowners, professional farm managers, and realtors that participated in the survey. Farm operators and landowners across the state compiled exactly 75% of the participants.



2020 Agriculture cash rent prices 


The 2020 average cash rent for Iowa high quality farmland is $256, for Iowa medium quality farmland is $222, and for Iowa low quality farmland is $187 which is slightly higher than the 2019 cash rent averages across the state. Below are the average cash rent amounts per crop reporting district for high, medium, and low quality farmland.


High Quality              Medium Quality         Low Quality

Northwest (District 1)                        $269                            $239                            $209

North Central (District 2)                   $256                            $225                            $194

Northeast (District 3)                         $288                            $248                            $208

West Central (District 4)                    $267                            $238                            $206

Central (District 5)                              $261                            $232                            $201

East Central (District 6)                     $272                            $233                            $191

Southwest (District 7)                        $235                            $204                            $171

South Central (District 8)                  $208                            $175                            $145

South East (District 9)                       $247                            $206                            $161



What Variables Impact My Cash Rent?


There are many variables that determine what price per acre your farmland should be renting at. We added to the Iowa State University list below.

  • Small size or unusual shape fields
  • Terraces or creeks that affect the time it takes to plant and harvest crops
  • Difficult or restricted access to fields
  • High or low fertility levels or pH index
  • Existence of contracts for growing seed, specialty grains, or manure applications
  • Above-average local grain prices due to proximity to biofuel plants or feed mills
  • USDA program variables, such as crop bases and assigned yields
  • Longevity of the lease
  • Other services performed by the tenant
  • Good natural drainage
  • Added tile to the property
  • Farms location to larger farming operations
  • CSR2 and CSR value



2021 Expected Cash Rent Rates


What should my 2021 cash rent be? We believe cash rents should hold steady with what we have seen since 2016, which was $230 – $222 for corn and soybean acres, across the state. If your farm lease is up for renegotiation, I strongly advise you take a minute to read the entire 2020 Iowa State Extension Cash Rent Survey to fully understand what you should expect for cash rent in 2021. If you need further assistance, reach out to Iowa Land Company at 515-962-5048 or email us at info@iowalandcompany.com. We have multiple offices across the state, and one of our local land managers or land brokers would enjoy the conversation.







Iowa Land Company is a full-service farmland auction company that services in all 99 counties of Iowa. We transact all types of land in Iowa. Want to know what your land in Iowa is worth ? Get a | Free Farmland Evaluation (Click) | from one of the trusted agents at Iowa Land Company.


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    Farm Location

    Location can be the biggest variables when calculating land value so it’s important to not over look this step.

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