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Increased Cropland Rent Could Impact Already Struggling Wisconsin Farmers

USDA: Average Cropland Rental Rate Is $131 Per Acre

Crop land
Jim Suhr/AP Photo

The average rent for cropland has increased slightly in Wisconsin this year.

The United States Department of Agriculture reported the state’s average cropland rental rate is $131 per acre in 2016, a dollar more than the last report in 2014.

But even $1 could have a big impact on farmers, USDA State Statistician Greg Bussler said.

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“What’s going to drive kind of the rental rates is what the farmer is willing to pay and so on,” Bussler said. “If he has continued low commodity prices and things like that and other higher input costs, he’s going to either have to pay less per acre on the land that he rents or rent less land.”

Bussler said high yields this year could also impact future prices for the land.

Rental rates varied greatly across the state, from $15 per acre in Douglas County to $227 in Lafayette County.

“If you look at a map of the state, you can see kind of the southern third of the state has the primarily higher rental rates and so on because of the more productive farm land.”

Thirty of the state’s 72 counties had average rents that were less than $100 per acre, with seven of those counties at less than $50 per acre.