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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that Rhode Island’s farmland was the second-most expensive in the U.S., Bloomberg News reported.
The most expensive farmland was in New Jersey at $12,700 an acre, followed by Rhode Island at $11,800, according to the USDA. The cheapest was in New Mexico at $550 an acre.
The Corn Belt was the most expensive of the 10 regions tracked by the USDA, averaging $6,400 an acre after gaining 15 percent from the previous year. The Mountain region had the lowest prices, averaging $1,020 per acre.
The average value of all land and buildings on farms and ranches in the 48 contiguous states was $2,900 an acre, according to a June survey of farmers, the USDA said in an annual report, up from $2,650 a year earlier. The drought that spread through the Corn Belt and Great Plains last year prompted record insurance payments and will push farm profits to a record $128.2 billion this year as growers rebuild inventories, the USDA said in February.
Overall, U.S. farmland values climbed 9.4 percent this year as high prices paid for crops and livestock after last year’s drought bolstered real estate while commodity prices fell, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
The USDA will update its farm profit forecast on Aug. 27, Bloomberg said. •