A survey released this week by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers shows that the value of Illinois farmland rose 5 percent in 2006, bringing to 45 percent the total spike over the past four years. The land prices jumped 10 percent in 2005 and 2003, and 20 percent in 2004.
Although the 2006 increase was lower, it kept pace with rising land prices in other Corn Belt states, benefiting from such factors as higher commodities prices and surging ethanol production.
"That's a pretty healthy rate, but I don't think it's over with," said Darrel Good, a University of Illinois market specialist who credits much of the Illinois increase with higher commodities prices that make the land more profitable.
"The expectation is that those higher (commodities) prices are here to stay," he said.
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