SACRAMENTO — Farm real estate and rental values in California are setting records while continuing a nearly 20-year upward trend.

Overall the 2013 average farm real estate was valued at an all-time high of $7,300 an acre, $100 above the previous record established in 2012, according to surveys by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That includes irrigated and non-irrigated crop land, plus pasture.

Irrigated cropland, at $12,500 per acre, increased $500 per acre compared with last year’s estimated value, while the $3,600-per-acre value of non-irrigated cropland was a 14 percent increase from last year, the agency reported.

The rental rate for irrigated cropland this year averaged a record-high $365 per acre, up $25 from 2012 and $5 above the previous record high set in 2008, NASS found.

The increasing price of farmland continues as farm earnings in the Golden State have risen in recent years, federal officials have explained.

“Annual farm real estate values have continually increased annually since 1994,” NASS officials observed in their report, issued this week.

The data are based on surveys conducted earlier this year throughout the agency’s Pacific Region, which also includes Nevada and Hawaii.

Among NASS’ other findings:

• All cropland, at $10,190 per acre, was up $380 per acre from last year. The average value of pasture land stayed about the same as last year, at $2,800 per acre.

• The most significant rent increases for irrigated cropland have been in Southern California, where the $457-per-acre average is up 19 percent from 2012. Rental rates for non-irrigated cropland are down statewide, particularly in Southern California and along the Central Coast.

• Pasture land’s statewide average rental rate of $12 per acre was up from $11.50 an acre last year, but still remained below the 2011 rate of $12.50. The highest rents are along the North Coast at $21 per acre, up 75 percent from last year.

Rental rates are setting records in Nevada, too, according to NASS. The $155-per-acre average for irrigated cropland was up $25 per acre from 2012’s record highs, while the rental rate for pasture land set a record for the third straight year, averaging $14 per acre this year.


2013 Pacific Regional Land Values and Cash Rents:

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