U.S. Midwest farmland prices up 25 pct-Chicago Fed

Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:41am EST

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Nov 15 (Reuters) - The price of farmland in the U.S. Midwest rose 25 percent in the third quarter, the fastest year-on-year pace in more than three decades, a survey by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank showed on Tuesday.

Prices are expected to continue to rise this quarter, according to the survey of 216 bankers responding to the Oct. 1 survey.

Prices of "good" farmland in the Chicago Fed region, which includes Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, rose 7 percent from the prior quarter, the survey showed. That increase matches the record set in 1977, it said

Credit conditions continue to improve, with interest rates on farm loans below the prior quarter's record lows, the survey showed.

Farmland prices are a bright spot for the U.S. economy, where land prices overall have declined sharply in the past several years.

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