Thanks to the USDA Census of Agriculture, and analysis from an OSU professor, we now know that Oregon's farm real estate values are increasing at a great pace.

The most recent Census of Agriculture was completed in 2022, and data was released in February 2024. While the USDA is still producing publications highlighting key facts and take-aways from the census, some economic analysts have already looked deeper into the data.

Daniel Bigelow, Assistant Professor at Oregon State University with a focus in agricultural economics, recently released an analysis of this data for Oregon (also reported in the Oregon Capital Chronicle).

Bigelow notes that Oregon's farm real estate's estimated value increased by over 23% between 2017 and 2022. The national average gain was only 7%. Similar numbers are reflected in the value per-acre and per-farm numbers.

The highest values in the state are found on the west side, primarily in Willamette Valley and portions of Central and Southern Oregon. Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, and Josephine Counties had the highest per-acre value. Bigelow notes, however, that Eastern Oregon has larger farms, and the real estate value gains were much higher in these areas.

Only two counties saw a loss in per-acre farm real estate value: Josephine and Wallowa.

Finally, Bigelow emphasizes:

...these values don’t represent actual transaction prices, but rather producers’ perceptions of what their land would sell for in a market transaction. Nonetheless, they reveal important information about the value of farm real estate in Oregon, where farmland values have appreciated at rates that dramatically outpace the trends seen throughout the United States.

For more on Oregon's portion of data from the USDA Census of Agriculture, review the OSU publications online: Oregon Agriculture by the Numbers - 2022 Census of Agriculture Data.

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