(AP) A survey by Iowa State University has found the state’s farm land prices in 2009 fell in value by 2 percent to $4,371 per acre. It is the first drop in average land values since 1999.

David Wessling of Iowa Land Management Co. in Vinton says prices for better quality land have remained strong this year, but fewer acres have been put up for sale than a year ago.

It is a trend also noted by Farmers National Co. farm land sales manager Sam Kain. He says land values have held up well despite half as many sales this year as last.

Although agents report a slight increase in outside, non-farmer purchasers this year, the majority of Iowa farm land continues to be bought by neighboring farmers.

Source: Associated Press