WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Farmland prices continue to defy economic forces that are pulling down other real estate values. A panel of Purdue University experts will discuss what factors are behind the steady rise in farmland values during a free webinar.

The online program takes place 1-2 p.m. EST Jan. 10. To register, visit the webinar home page at http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag/progevents/landvalueswebinar.html, click on the "Register Now!" link in the "Registration Information" box and complete the online registration form.

The panel includes agricultural economists Mike Boehlje, Craig Dobbins, Brent Gloy and Chris Hurt, and Bruce Erickson, Purdue's director of cropping systems management.

"We've continued to see farmland value increases, even when the overall economy was in a recession and when real estate values in housing and the commercial markets fell off," Boehlje said. "According to a survey by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, farmland in Iowa increased in value by 13 percent between the fall of 2009 and fall 2010. Our survey for Indiana shows that farmland values since 1985 have gone up about 270 percent, or, in essence, about 5.5 percent per year."

Webinar panelists won't attempt to predict future farmland values but, instead, talk about the forces driving prices higher and the events that could keep moving them up or move them down. Among those forces are farming incomes, interest rates, development potential and inflation, Boehlje said.

"Institutional and outside investors view farmland as a pretty good portfolio asset," he said.

Boehlje, Dobbins, Gloy and Hurt outline farmland price drivers in their paper, "Farmland Values: Current and Future Prospects." It can be downloaded from the webinar home page, and webinar viewers are encouraged to read the paper before the event.

Those unable to view the Jan. 10 program can listen to the webinar by phone by contacting Aissa Good at 765-496-3884 or aissa@purdue.edu. The presentation also will be archived online for later viewing.

The webinar is sponsored by the Center for Commercial Agriculture within the Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics.

Source: Purdue University Extension