Cropland rental rates

This provides a historical perspective on rental rates paid by a group of Minnesota farmers and trends in those rental rates over the past five years.

This information is meant as a guide and starting point. The information and data is not meant to establish, determine, set, fix or even hint at what actual rents should be. It is simply a reporting of historical land rental rates in Minnesota. 

Historical rental data is included for years 2012 through 2017. Weighted average rental rates are listed by county for each year. 

There is really no way to statistically project future rental rates. Keep in mind the numbers listed are weighted averages. That means there are rents both above and below the numbers listed. Again, these numbers are merely a starting point. 

Also included is the 2017 county rental data gathered by the USDA National Ag Statistical Service (NASS) in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The USDA/NASS data is collected by mail-out survey state-wide and the resulting 2017 data is included in this document. It is an excellent comparison to use with the FINBIN data. 

Average Minnesota cropland rental rates per acre

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2017 NASS data
Northwest
Becker 96 n/a n/a n/a 97 111
Clay 136 138 134 137 135 141
Clearwater n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 38
Kittson n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 75
Mahnomen 99 111 105 86 82 110
Marshall 59 63 56 67 67 90
Norman 120 129 128 122 127 110
Pennington 54 62 62 68 64 65
Polk 86 96 96 95 99 125
Red Lake n/a 64 n/a n/a n/a 65
Roseau n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 54
North Central
Beltrami n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 40
Cass n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 35
Hubbard n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 25
Itasca n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Koochiching n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Lake of Woods n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 33
West Central
Big Stone n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 163
Chippewa n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 190
Douglas 112 112 102 107 119 129
Grant 192 192 188 178 193 168
Lac qui Parle n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 170
Otter Tail 95 101 108 120 110 106
Pope n/a 128 131 134 141 143
Stevens n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 164
Swift n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 174
Traverse 157 n/a n/a n/a n/a 170
Wilkin 131 137 135 133 134 137
Yellow Med. n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 183
Central
Benton 68 87 100 113 103 79
Carver 226 214 173 202 197 189
Kandiyohi 211 227 212 220 229 214
McLeod 238 233 205 188 209 223
Meeker 190 191 183 176 179 175
Morrison 78 107 74 97 82 77
Renville 236 237 241 222 217 219
Scott 238 229 208 206 191 198
Sherburne n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 52
Sibley 262 263 250 252 237 226
Stearns 184 188 192 183 169 142
Todd 64 80 77 67 66 63
Wadena n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 31
Wright n/a 149 144 154 146 159
East Central
Aitkin n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 33
Anoka n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 57
Carlton n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 20
Chisago n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 69
Crow Wing n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 37
Hennepin n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 131
Isanti n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 62
Kanabec 52 59 63 60 59 63
Mille Lacs n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 76
Pine n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 32
Washington n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 114
Southwest
Cottonwood 196 200 192 196 184 202
Jackson 219 223 213 214 195 202
Lincoln 165 n/a n/a n/a 175 171
Lyon 218 223 222 197 202 183
Murray 265 268 238 230 225 177
Nobles 207 202 200 201 191 189
Pipestone 219 236 213 229 202 180
Redwood 211 213 207 198 197 187
Rock n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 212
South Central
Blue Earth 229 240 228 221 215 232
Brown 208 211 205 210 207 197
Faribault 243 243 226 222 209 219
Freeborn 267 265 238 247 216 217
Le Sueur 261 267 257 236 228 n/a
Martin 274 272 255 245 234 n/a
Nicollet 251 263 245 231 223 215
Rice 260 258 242 236 226 214
Steele 220 239 240 231 214 219
Waseca 237 236 227 218 224 216
Watonwan 256 239 238 225 215 213
Southeast
Dakota 212 241 228 208 n/a 202
Dodge 246 252 246 231 219 207
Fillmore 243 235 218 205 200 191
Goodhue 230 242 216 222 220 250
Houston n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 178
Mower 236 247 248 234 227 199
Olmsted 250 260 226 234 231 194
Wabasha 233 237 212 n/a 186 186
Winona 214 220 196 217 146 206
Minnesota 186 194 185 181 174 166

Analysis method

The FINBIN database includes enterprise level income and expenses for thousands of acres of Minnesota farmland. To compile this report, rental rates are extracted for cash rented land. All row crop acres, small grain acres, canning crop acres, etc. are included in the data analysis. Not included in the analysis are acres allocated to pasture, aftermath grazing, hay and haylage acres, CRP acres, fallow and prevented planted acres. All normal farming practices for the regions were included in the analysis. The USDA/NASS numbers are for row crops on non-irrigated land only.

Data is organized by county. Counties with a minimum of 10 farms with cash rented acreage are included. If a given county does not have rent data listed for 2012-2017, there were not enough farms reporting data. Counties with only partial FINBIN data for 2012-2017 and a USDA/NASS number have been included because they now meet the 10 farm minimum criteria. Counties with only a USDA/NASS number have less than 10 farmers reporting FINBIN data.

Note: Several counties in north, east and west central Minnesota regions have no FINBIN rental rates reported this year. That is due to staff reductions in Farm Business Management programs and resulting loss of participating farms in those counties. USDA/NASS data for those regions are listed.

The 2017 USDA/NASS data for each county is included for purposes of comparison. The majority of Minnesota Counties have a 2017 USDA/NASS average rent number listed. The numbers are for non-irrigated farm land only. 

Keep in mind that these rental rates include both family and un-related party land rental contracts as well as long-term rental contracts. Rental rates between family members can be lower than those between un-related parties. Long-term rental contracts generally do not change dramatically during the length of the contract and therefore may affect the weighted average numbers used in the data calculations. Please note that the land rental rates shown here may not align with rents being paid for new land coming on the market.

Regional change in rental rates from 2012 to 2017

Following is a table showing average annual changes in land rental rates for the years 2012 through and including 2017 and the one-year change from 2016 to 2017. These changes are based on weighted averages to compensate for differences in acres and rental rates from the various counties in each region. The land rental numbers used to calculate the percent change values are also from the FINBIN database. Also included is a statewide percent change.

In several regions, the five-year percent change is negative, meaning that rates have declined below their 2012 levels. However, there was a significant increase in most cases prior to 2012.

The 2016-2017 annual change data shows a slight downward trend in rental rates for six of the eight regions. In West Central and East Central regions there was an increase. There was an increase in number of acres in West Central.  But there is no definitive way of determining the cause for this. East Central has limited data available and none is available for North Central.

Because of these anomalies, the land rental rates listed are again merely a starting point or guide and not an absolute rental rate. The percentage figures are not meant to predict future increases but are merely to document how regional and state rental rates have changed over the years.

You can search FINBIN for land rental data specific to a county or region (assuming there are enough farmers reporting rent values) as well as other farm data. 

Total percentage change in land rental rates

Region 2012-2017 2016-2017
Northwest 14.4% -0.6%
West Central 9.5% 4.9%
Central 0.7% -3.2
East Central 42.9% 3.9%
Southwest -1.0% -4.2%
South Central -3.2% -4.3%
Southeast -3.0% -3.3%
State 4.1% -3.9%

Dave Bau, Extension educator; Dale Nordquist, former Extension economist; Rann Loppnow, Center for Farm Financial Management; Pauline Van Nurden, Center for Farm Financial Management

Reviewed in 2017

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