California’s average farm real estate was valued at $7,200 per acre, based on surveys of California farmers and ranchers. This is an all time record high for California and $300 above the previous record set in 2011. Annual farm real estate values have continually increased since 1994, the last time it dipped below the previous year’s value. Irrigated cropland, at $12,000 per acre, increased $500 per acre compared with the 2011 estimated value. Non-irrigated cropland, at $3,550 per acre, was down 1.4 percent from last year. All cropland, at $9,810 per acre, was up $360 per acre from last year. The average value of pastureland, at $2,800 per acre, was equal to the previous year.
The 2012 State irrigated cropland rental rate, at $340 per acre, was up $5 per acre from 2011, but still down $5 per acre from 2010. The Central Coast rental rate was down slightly from last year at $1,010 per acre. The Sacramento Valley rental rate, at $247 per acre, was down $3 from 2011, while the San Joaquin Valley rental rate, at $269 per acre, increased 13 percent from the previous year.
The 2012 State non-irrigated rental rate, at $40 dollars per acre, was down 20 percent from both the 2010 and 2011 levels of $50 per acre. The Sacramento Valley non-irrigated rental rate, at $31 per acre, was $5 per acre lower than 2011. The San Joaquin Valley non-irrigated rental rate, at $41.50 per acre, was down 24 percent from the previous year. Below normal rainfall throughout the winter was a contributing factor to the lower realized rental rates.
The State pastureland, at $11.50 per acre, was down from $12.50 per acre in 2011. The Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley rental rates were equal to the previous year’s rental rates, while all other district rates decreased. The North Coast rental rate decreased 44 percent to $12 per acre. The Sierra Nevada rental rate, at $11.50 per acre, decreased $3.50 compared with $15 per acre in 2011.
The release includes average rental rates for irrigated cropland, non-irrigated cropland, and pastureland during 2012. The information is based on data NASS gathered by contacting more than 6,000 agricultural producers who rented land for cash in California during 2012.