The pace of farmland price appreciation across the Southeast and Mid-South. moderated in the first quarter, according to the latest Farmland Market Survey released by Farmland Investor Letter.

Non-irrigated cropland values rose at a 7 percent year-over-year pace, down from 9.3 percent in last’s year’s fourth quarter.

Irrigated tracts increased at an 8.2 percent annual pace, versus 9.6 percent in the previous quarter.

Pasture values were up 2.5 percent from a year ago, compared to a 3.2 percent 12-month rate at last year’s close.

The survey, conducted from March 15, 2013 through April 29, 2013 was based on the responses of 107 appraisers, property managers, lenders, real estate brokers and landowners located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

Farmers and investors expect cropland values to remain stable through the second quarter, despite flattening crop commodity prices. Historic low interest rates continue to support land values. However, continued robust gains in the stock market may compete for the attention of investors.

Farmland values

Survey participants estimated that non-irrigated cropland across the region was worth an average $3,111 per acre in the first quarter of 2013.

Irrigated cropland values averaged $4,169 per acre.

Pasture values averaged $2,264 per acre.

On an individual state basis, non-irrigated cropland values ranged from $3,993 per acre in Florida to $2,571 per acre in Georgia.

Irrigated cropland values ranged from $5,013 per acre in Florida to $3,273 per acre in Alabama.

Pasture values ranged from $3,125 per acre in Florida to $1,739 per acre in Arkansas.

Cash rents

Cash rent increases continue to lag land price inflation across the region. Rents on non-irrigated cropland averaged $112 per acre, ranging from an average $69 per acre in Alabama to $125 per acre in Mississippi.