By Elsa Partan
Laramie, Wyo. – The value of farmland in Wyoming and across the Mountain West has risen between eight and 15 percent in the third quarter of 2008.
Jason Henderson of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says the gains were unexpected because of recent declines in crop prices.
"It was quite a surprise," Henderson said. "I thought that there would be plateauing of farmland values and that our gains would moderate this quarter and going forward," he added.
Henderson says the Mountain West wasn't the only area to see cropland value go up. Nebraska led the increases, with non-irrigated land rising 28 percent. He says investors are taking the long view on crop values. They're betting that prices will rise as soon as the economy starts to turn around.