By SCOTT McFETRIDGE
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For all the talk about rising U.S. home values in cities and suburbs, they have nothing on the skyrocketing price of farmland. While median existing-home prices rose by 15.8% in the U.S. last year, farmland values went up about double that rate in places like Iowa. The rising values, especially in the Midwest, are due to high prices being paid for the key commodity crops of corn and soybeans, plentiful harvests in recent years coupled with low interest rates and optimism the good times will continue. But it’s a mixed blessing. The soaring prices enrich farmers who already have a lot of land, but it makes it harder for young farmers to get started unless they happen to inherit land.
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