CHICAGO May 15 Farmland prices in the U.S. Corn Belt softened in the first quarter of 2014, reflecting expectations for lower farm income as grain prices slide, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday.
Land values dipped 1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013, halting the rise in district land values - a trend similar to results reported earlier on Thursday for the central and southern Plains and the southern Midwest by the Kansas City and St. Louis Fed banks.
"Even with the first quarterly decrease in five years, the year-over-year change in District agricultural land values managed to stay positive in the first quarter of 2014," the Chicago Fed said in its quarterly survey of 214 regional farm lenders.
The Chicago Fed district stretches across most of Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan as well as northern Illinois and Indiana, a region that contributes about one-third of U.S. corn and soybean production as well as large amounts of dairy, pork and cattle production.
(Reporting by Christine Stebbins; editing by Matthew Lewis)