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Lower Corn Prices May Lower Cash Rent Prices

Missouri cash rent prices for cropland could drop in the next few years due to lower corn and bean prices, says Joe Koenen, University of Missouri Extension agricultural business specialist.

Landowners attending an MU Extension webinar on leasing discussed Missouri cash rent county estimates released Sept. 5 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Estimates from 2014 increased slightly from 2013, Koenen said. Landowners in the Linneus area talked about ways to work with renters in view of USDA’s predictions of $3.25 per bushel corn, less than half of the $8 price fetched in 2012.
Landowners will face pressure to drop cash rent prices based on USDA and MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute predictions that corn income could drop 35 to 40 percent next year compared to just two years ago.

Koenen said landlords might consider assisting renters through options such as paying for lime for cropland. Another option a few landowners are using is flex rent, based on a formula that includes a base rent and weighting additional rent based on varying yield and crop prices.

Driven by absentee landowners, a volatile farm economy and increased competition for land, more land is being rented now through cash rent per acre rather than the system of sharing of profits and expenses called crop sharing.

Cash rents for Missouri cropland run from $100 to $200 per acre and pasture rent brings $25 to $50 per acre, Koenen said. Nonirrigated cropland averaged $116 in 2013, up 33.3 percent from 2012. Pastureland brought $33.50 in 2013, up 9.8 percent from 2012. Average rent for corn, dryland, was $121.75 per acre, with an average yield of 139 bushel per acre. Irrigated corn cropland brought $147.99 per acre and yielded an average of 175 bushels per acre.

Missouri overall cash rent for nonirrigated land was $127 per acre. Irrigated land brought $173 per acre and pastureland was $29.

USDA shows the following cash rent per acre for nonirrigated cropland by region: northwest, $187; north central, $140; northeast, $139; west, $95; central, $86; east, $87.50; southeast, $53.50; south central, $38. For the complete report by county, go to

Koenen said prices tend to decrease at a slower rate than they increase.

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