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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

A semi-annual study of farmland values by Omaha-based Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) suggests the market for farmland could be leveling off, or in some cases, softening.

The analysis of ag real estate sales transactions-both auctions and private sales-shows farmland values in Iowa declined nearly three percent in the second half of 2013, while Nebraska prices were up less than one percent. South Dakota land values remained fairly strong, recording a seven percent increase.

But even though prices appear to be leveling off, FCSAmerica chief credit officer Bill Davis says demand for farmland continues to be strong.

"If you just look at the sales activity we've seen, I wouldn't expect it to change too much. I would say the next couple quarters (will be) probably about the same," Davis says. "We've still got a lot of producers that are financially strong and capable of buying land-and I haven't seen values decline very much yet anyway."

The FCSAmerica report says that even though the number of public land auctions in 2013 was down 25 to 30 percent compared to 2012, auctions were often well-attended with multiple bidders. It says the number of auction "no sales" in Iowa was 6.7 percent in 2013, an increase from three percent in 2012, indicating some sellers may have expected higher prices than the auction high bid.

Davis says local farmers continued to make most of the purchases.

In addition to Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, FCSAmerica also serves Wyoming.

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