Changes to the 2017 Ag Land Value Survey Back »

Written collaboratively by Shannon Sand and Jack Davis.


2017 Survey Changes

This year marked a year of changes for the SDSU land value survey. The survey was condensed down to incorporate alfalfa hay into crop land and pasture/rangeland now incorporates all grass acres including tame pasture. These changes were made to better reflect the current land use in the state.

Cropland Productivity
The 2017 survey further defined high, average, and low productivity. The following are the new definitions for high, average and low productivity for cropland (including alfalfa acres):

  • HIGH: Above average production index, high farm ease (no water ways, building sites, sand/gravel hills or other obstacles/hazards), high or top soil classification
  • AVERAGE: Production typical to area, soil type and ease of farming
  • LOW: Below average production index, many obstacles/hazards, low ease of farming, poor soil classification

Pasture Productivity
The following are the new definitions for high, average and low productivity for pasture (this includes all grass acres):

  • HIGH: Higher than average tons produced, high carrying capacity, has fence and water, tillable capacity
  • AVERAGE: Typical production and grazing capacity and ability (fence and water available)
  • LOW: Below average production, low or no carrying capacity, no/limited fence or water availability

Comparing Land Use
Survey users wishing to compare pre-2017 land use category of hayland will want to compare alfalfa hay to the cropland land use category based on productivity and grass hay compared to the pasture category by level of productivity.

Rangeland is best compared to a similar level of productivity under the pasture landuse category which now includes all grass acres.

Average Land Values

From these responses statewide average land values by land use are weighted by the relative number of acres in each region in the same land use. All-agricultural land values, regional and statewide, are weighted by the proportion of acres in each agricultural land use. Thus all-agricultural land values in this report are weighted average values by region and land use. This weighted average approach is analogous to the cost (inventory) approach of estimating farmland values in rural land appraisal.

Additional iGrow articles will be forthcoming and will further break down, rental rates, land values, returns to land and regional differences throughout the state.

More Information

For more information, view the complete publication or contact an SDSU Extension expert:


Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be reliable and correct. However, no guarantee or warranty is provided for its accuracy or completeness. This information is provided exclusively for educational purposes and any action or inaction or decisions made as the result of reading this material is solely the responsibility of readers. The author(s) and South Dakota State University disclaim any responsibility for loss associated with the use of this information.

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