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Arizona's Farmland Values Increase Slightly Amidst Fall In National Average

(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
A row of corn growing on the Ak-Chin reservation farm. If you look closely, you may see a bobcat strolling past the crops.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows how crop and farmland value across the country changed in 2016.

Arizona’s overall farm real estate values are up slightly this year, while cropland values are down. Cropland values only count the actual land and fields the crops are grown on, and does not include structures like barns or silos.

The small changes reflect less demand for exported goods, which in Arizona are mostly cotton and wheat.

In the last 14 years, average farmland value has doubled, and University of Arizona agriculture economist George Frisvold said in Arizona’s case, the value for ag land is trending higher than other farming states because of growing development.

“There’s a lot more potential for buying up farmland for real estate development in Arizona and Pacific states than there is in some place like South Dakota,” Frisvold said.

The national average of farmland value fell for the first time since 2009.

(Graph courtesy USDA - Land Values 2016 Summary)


Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.