U.S. Plains farmland values rise 20 percent, but gains moderate -KC Fed

Wed May 15, 2013 9:59am EDT

May 15 (Reuters) - Farmland values in the U.S. Plains states rose 20 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, with acreage commanding record prices because of red-hot demand for cropland in the world's biggest food exporter, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said on Wednesday.

The rate of increase moderated with slower growth in farm income, the bank said.

Irrigated farmland attracted the most interest. Prices rose 21.5 percent, boosted by lingering concerns after the worst drought to hit the United States since the 1930s, the Kansas City Fed said in its quarterly survey of 223 district bankers.

The survey area, a leading region for wheat, corn and cattle production, includes Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado and parts of Missouri.

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