Is The Corn Boom Pushing Land Prices Above Profitability?

  The area where I live has been spared the worst of land price inflation but it appears to be rising beyond good sense.

Well, corn fever [2] is moving closer to my geography and I'm unsure what to think or do about it. When I say corn fever I'm talking about the corn price boom that started with the ethanol subsidy changes in 2005 and has continued through today.

As everyone with any interest in agriculture knows it has driven farmland prices to record highs in the Corn Belt and that has dragged all other land values [3], including pasture prices, higher with it. It looks uncomfortably to me like classic land-price run-up before the fall.

Last week, I went to a land lease auction for what we in Oklahoma call school lease land. At statehood in 1907, our state charter set aside one section of land [4] in every township as land belonging to the state's schools. The proceeds from their rental and from mineral leasing go to fund our schools.

To read Newport's entire article, click here. [5]


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