Fall 2011 Alberta Farmland Values Report

Alberta farmland values showed an average increase of 4.0% during the first half of 2011, which followed increases of 1.5 and 2.9% during the two previous reporting periods.

Values increased by an average of 0.7% per month between January 1 and June 30, 2011. Farmland values in Alberta have been rising since 1993.

Strong demand for good cultivated farmland was observed in southern Alberta. Large producers were competing for land, which pushed demand upward. Irrigated land suitable for specialty crops continued to be in high demand, with associated significant increases in value. Marginal land suitable for hay and cattle production also saw an increase in demand. Farmland was generally considered to be a sound investment.

Producers were optimistic about the growing season, given the above-average moisture levels. However, in many areas, excess moisture during planting delayed seeding.

Strong demand for good cultivated land continued in central Alberta. Increases in cattle prices improved the demand for pasture land. Above-average moisture levels and the cool spring delayed crops, which reduced producers’ disposable income, and weakened demand for land. A softening of the provincial economy over the past couple of years levelled off previously fast-paced increases in land values around the Highway 2 corridor from Edmonton to Calgary. Land values in most areas of central Alberta plateaued or increased slightly this reporting period.

A portion of the Peace region of northern Alberta experienced severe drought in 2008 and 2009. In certain areas, drought continued in 2010. This affected income levels and reduced demand for land. The spring of 2011 brought good moisture levels back to the region. Most areas saw modest increases in land prices throughout the past six months, perhaps due to renewed optimism driven by better growing conditions after several years of drought.

Source: FCC Website