Data from the US Census of Agriculture suggest important changes since 1978 in regional patterns of farmland values. This study examines these patterns with the aid of county-level maps showing average values per hectare for the Census years 1978, 1982, 1987 and 1992 and changes between these years. Farmland price increases are geographically associated with general proximity to major population centers and the presence of aesthetically attractive natural landscapes, while these two attributes in combination are generally absent in areas not experiencing price increases. The widespread phenomenon of non commercial farming as a factor in farmland price increases is examined. It is hypothesized that such site factors as climate and soils which traditionally have helped explain higher farmland prices in some regions are of diminishing importance, while situational factors such as proximity to major population centers are in the ascendancy. The changing importance of site versus situational factors is assessed using analysis of variance tests comparing the influence on farmland values of the predominately situational differences between metropolitan, nonmetropolitan-adjacent and nonmetropolitan-nonadjacent settings, versus the predominately site differences between major agricultural regions.
Geographical Aspects of US Farmland Values and Changes During The 1978-1992 Period
Journal of Rural Studies
J. Clark Archer and Richard E. Lonsdale
Bristol, UK: Journal of Rural Studies
October 01, 1997
Farmland Affordability, Land Use Planning