USDA releases farmland cash rental values for Michigan counties
Michigan State University Extension updates their annual report with the latest data.
The “USDA Farmland Cash Rental Rates” document is a listing of cash rental rates by county dating from 2012 to the 2023 year. The information was obtained from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and is based on their county-level survey results.
Results contain a mixture of annual and long-term lease agreements. Long-term lease agreements normally have fixed cash rental rates. Therefore, changes in year-to-year cash rental rates depend largely on how many new leases are included in the data. Another factor is response consistency and if all the same farms that participated last year took part in this year’s survey. The impact of these factors is essentially unknown when looking at the cash rental rates. As a result, rental rate values in this report are not intended to serve as a price floor for rent negotiation. But rather a good place to start.
It is also important to remember that land rent prices vary tremendously from county to county. In Michigan, the higher productivity soils tend to command a higher price. This includes tile drained or irrigated areas where specialty crops are grown, such as sugar beets and vegetables. Other factors can impact the price that farmers are willing and able to pay for land rent. Some of these factors can include field size, access, soil type, soil fertility, previous cropping history, and proximity to their farm operation.
Your field’s individual factors and county location may mean USDA’s average is not a perfect fit for your farmland. But it may be helpful to see rental rates for neighboring counties and consider differences in agriculture being produced in those locations.
The 2023 data indicates a mixture of changes across Michigan counties.
For non-irrigated counties (see Figure 1):
- 36 counties saw rental rate averages increase.
- 22 counties saw rental rate averages decrease.
- 4 counties saw no change in their average rental rate.
For irrigated counties (see Figure 2):
- 7 counties saw rental rate averages increase.
- 4 counties saw rental rate averages decrease.
Pasture acres were absent in the 2022 report due to a lack of survey responses. In 2023, only three counties were listed. Two of the three counties reported increases in cash rental rates. The third county technically reported an increase, but the next comparable year is 2017.
The data for this report can be accessed on the USDA NASS website.
Michigan State University Extension has several resources to assist in determining a reasonable rental rate and help in preparing for rent negotiations. For more information, visit MSU Extension’s Farmland Leasing website.