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Indiana’s Ag Sector Remains Strong with Farm Sizes Increasing

Posted on June 20, 2019 | By Andrew Wilson 

 - Well, the numbers are in and support that Indiana’s Agricultural sector figures remain consistent and the market continues to thrive. Bruce Kettler, the director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, spoke on the recent census numbers and what that means for Hoosiers moving forward. Here’s a look at what you need to know.

Indiana’s Agriculture Production is Efficient

Overall, it’s no secret that the agriculture sector of Indiana continues to be the lifeblood of the state, with its agricultural production totaling more than $11 billion in 2017 alone–ranking Indiana in the top 10 nationwide for ag products sold. The recent census also sheds light on our state’s efficiency in the industry, proving that Indiana has more than doubled the agricultural output in monetary means. This is likely due to our state’s ability to diversify our agricultural output in not only crops, but livestock sectors. As for the overall farmland values, those have remained constant. This does not mean that purchasing farmland isn’t a good investment. There are many factors of how a market will respond. Among the top considerations on the purchase of farmland are location and quality–these are the key drivers of land cost.

Our State’s Farm Sizes are Increasing

The census also revealed that Indiana lost than 2,000 farms from 2017 to a total of 56,649. But, the average size of the farms increased by 5% up to 264 acres. The total amount of farmland in Indiana climbed to 15 million acres, which equates to 65% of the state’s total land.

“These numbers show that owners are choosing to transition land outside of the family and closely held corporations, which is a steady trend we are seeing,” said Andrew Wilson, President of William Wilson Auction Realty, Inc.

More Investment in Agriculture Sector

Moving forward, the state says they intend to use the data to continue to look at other ways to grow the ag sector in Indiana, such as where the state can either expand existing businesses that are processing the crops or livestock into products, as well as where they can attract new business investors from outside the state. Another means for continued growth would be adding value to our products and crops that are grown here and ensuring agricultural jobs stay in Indiana.

indiana agriculture farm size increasing wilson auctions

So, what does this mean for agricultural investors –  and buyers – in the Hoosier state? The market is still solid, and we are cautiously optimistic. If you’ve been considering a land transition, now may be the time to get serious. Prices on land are static, but it’s important to be smart with your purchase, again keeping in mind the location and quality of the land before you decide to invest.

“With sales of more than 5,200 acres over a 2-year period, we continue to see positive indicators with farm real estate and how it relates to the agricultural sector as a whole, in our primary markets of Southern Indiana and Illinois. Our producers are efficient. Liquidity is still good, and buyers are especially jumping on opportunities to buy key farms.”

“Additionally, new investors continue to enter the market as they see the opportunity that farmland can provide in their portfolio,” said Wilson.