CHICAGO Feb 13 Farmland prices in the heart of
the U.S. grain belt edged higher in the last quarter of 2013,
countering some weakness in the prior quarter as farmers and
investors absorbed a sharp drop in grain prices ahead of a
record U.S. corn harvest, according to a quarterly report by the
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
"Agricultural land values rose 3 percent from the third
quarter to the fourth quarter of 2013," the Fed said, based on a
survey of 186 farm bankers in the northern Midwest. "A majority
of respondents anticipated farmland values to remain stable
during the January through March period," it added.
The trend was similar to results reported earlier on
Thursday for the southern Midwest by the St. Louis federal
Reserve. Like bankers in that region, Corn Belt bankers were
facing 2014 with caution as the effect of lower grain prices and
higher input costs for farmers put pressure on grain farm profit
for the first time in five years.