News From The Chicago Fed

The latest land value report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago says the seventh district, which includes roughly the southern half of Wisconsin, saw an annual increase of 6 percent in land values, reaching a new peak. 

Values for “good” farmland moved up 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023 from the third quarter, according to 129 agricultural bankers who responded to the January survey. 

Only 6 percent of the survey respondents expected farmland values to rise during the January through March period of 2024, with 17 percent expecting them to fall and 77 percent expecting them to be stable. 

See the report:

This is just one of the coming from the Chicago Fed and authored by David Oppedahl, a policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank. During listening sessions with Wisconsin residents and economists, he’s picked up on a few trends that set Wisconsin’s economy apart from other states. 

He says Wisconsin’s diversity in agriculture gives it strength, but it also gives us unique weaknesses compared to other states. For example, when the dairy economy is down, it has repercussions in the entire ag economy. 

Oppedahl has mixed feelings about what’s in store for the ag economy in 2024. He says it will be a “year of treading water” as commodity prices come down. But he’s hopeful dairy will turn around for the better this year.