The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service has released the county-by-county breakdown of its 2012 survey of cash rents. The average cash rent of cropland in Missouri was 4% higher compared to 2011 and pasture rental rates increased 9% from last year.
"Like a lot of things in agriculture, the prices are moving up," said University of Missouri Extension agricultural economist Ron Plain. "Cattle prices, corn prices, soybean prices have been at or close to record levels, and when the value of what is produced on land goes up, the value of the land or what owners ask for rent goes up."
However, because of the drought this year Plain doesn't believe that rental rates are likely to increase much in 2013. In fact, he says that much of Missouri will see a pretty flat situation if not pullback in some areas on rental rates.
"If you look just strictly at the prices, you think we're going to go higher on land values and cash rents in 2013, but it was a miserable year in an awful lot of Missouri," Plain said. "Pasture conditions were terrible and the value of those crops was way down. The price farmers are selling at was good but the total value was down because of low yields."