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May 1, 2009

USDA-NASS Releases County-Level Cash Rent Estimates

(Columbia, MO) For the first time, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is publishing county-level data on cash rental rates for agricultural land.

The information, which is available today online only, includes average cash rental rates for non-irrigated cropland, irrigated cropland, and pastureland during the 2008 calendar year.

“This data will provide an important decision-making tool for farmers, ranchers, and other landowners,” said Gene Danekas, Director of the NASS Missouri Field Office. “In addition, USDA agencies will have these new figures available to help develop and administer important farm programs used by farmers and ranchers.”

Since 1997, NASS has published land value and rental rate data at the state level. The agency is providing the county data in response to requests from customers as well the new requirements of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Missouri results indicate the highest cash rents for non-irrigated cropland were found in Atchison and Holt counties at $112 per acre, with a state level average of $80. Pastureland rented for cash showed Nodaway County the highest valued at $34.50 per acre with the Missouri average reflecting $26. Irrigated cropland for Missouri rated $120 per acre with Dunklin County leading at $131.

The information is based on data NASS gathered from 700,000 agricultural producers nationwide during the 2008 end-of-year surveys: the biannual cattle survey, the biannual sheep and goats survey, the quarterly crops/stocks survey, the annual acreage and production survey, and the first-ever county-level cash rents survey.

Danekas noted that complete data may not be available for all counties. "In some counties, we may not have received enough survey responses to publish a reliable estimate. In these instances, the estimated rental values are combined with those of neighboring counties and published as the ‘other county total’ within the district.”

The 2008 county-level cash rental rates data is available online at through Quick Stats, NASS’s agricultural statistics database. Users can access cash rental rates at the state, county, or crop reporting district level.

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