The USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service recently published its County Cash Rent data for 2016.
As we mentioned in this prior blog post, NASS publishes a yearly report showing cash rent values by state. In even-numbered years, NASS breaks down the statistics further, providing cash rental information by region and then by county for each state in the US. To view the database with all 2016 regional and county data, click here. You will then need to scroll down to Texas to locate your specific county.
Regionally in Texas, results varied as some regions saw no change since 2014, others showed a price increase, and others price decreases. Here is a chart detailing current lease rates and past rates for each Texas region:
Pasture: As you can see, the Blacklands region reported the highest average pasture lease rate at $12.50 per acre, while the Trans-Pecos region posted the lowest at $1.60. The biggest changes from the 2014 report were a $1.00 increase for the North East region from $11 to $12 and a $.50 decrease in the Upper Coast region from $12 to $11.50. The state-wide average for pasture leases is $6.80 per acre.
Non-Irrigated Cropland: Just like in 2014, the Coastal Bend region posted the lowest non-irrigated cropland lease rates at $57.50/acre, while the Trans-Pecos region posted the lowest at $9.20/acre. The biggest changes from 2014 were seen in the Southern High Plains where lease rates dropped $5 from $37/acre in 2014 to $32/acre in 2016 and the Upper Coast region where rates increased $3.50 from $54/acre to $57.50/acre. State-wide average non-irrigated cropland lease rate was $27/acre.
Irrigated Cropland: The most expensive cash lease rates for irrigated cropland came from the Northern High Plains at $113/acre and the lowest from the Southern Low Plains at $48.50/acre. The biggest change was a huge drop in values in the Blacklands region from $98.50/acre in 2014 to just $74.50/acre. The largest price increase was found in the Northern Low Plains region, where prices increased by $8.50/acre from $68 to $76.50/acre.
Conclusion: Keep in mind that these reports are only as accurate as the information received by those folks responding the NASS surveys. Visiting with your County Extension Agent and other landowners and producers in your area will almost always be a more accurate source of what is actually happening “on the ground” with lease rates in your community. As always, I strongly recommend that landowners and producers get all leases in writing. We recently published a Ranchers’ Agricultural Leasing Handbook that talks through the legalities surrounding leases, offers info on how to set prices, and includes various checklists and sample language for lease agreements. To obtain a copy, click here. For more information on farmland leases, checkout the Ag Lease 101 website here.