Price paid per acre tops $12,000
The strength of farming in the Central Valley is clearly evident in the strong demand shown for farming acres in Tulare County and the high price that farmland is bringing.
The Ranch Company, a real estate firm that specializes in the sales of ag land, reported that in 2012 the price per acre of farm land, excluding range land, was a whopping $12,162 an acre, an increase of 68 percent over 2011, and the most ever.
“That’s the healthiest its been,” said John Grimmius of The Ranch Company. “We’re in a very high market.”
Prices were up across the board, with the exception of dairies. Several years of low prices have made the milk business very difficult, with several bankruptcies and several dairies closing. However, that is beginning to turn around, said Patricia Stever-Blattner, chief executive officer for the Tulare County Farm Bureau.
“It’s very flat and still recovering,” she said, adding that prices paid for milk have improved to the point dairymen are no longer losing money.
Although dairies were not that attractive, land that can be used to grow dairy feed was popular in 2012.
Blattner said the prices paid for farm land are indicative of the strength of agriculture.
“Even though we’re in tough economic times, the ag industry has always been a stabilizing force. It is not surprising to see ag land prices remain strong and improve,” she said.
Grimmius said 235 farm parcels totaling 50,090 acres of land were sold in 2012 for more than a total of $221 million. That compares to 240 parcels sold in 2011 at a total value of $184 million.
Farm land values did take a dip in 2009 and 2010, falling to as low as $7,000 an acre in 2010, but have been rising every since.
Fueling the sales and higher prices was citrus, pointed out Grimmius. Read More…