Prices of agricultural land increased by 50 percent to 88 percent across the state, and most of the farmland is not being purchased for agricultural purposes, said John Reynolds, a professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, who conducts the annual Florida Agricultural Land Value Survey.

Reynolds’ 2005 survey, which measures changes over the past year, divides the state into five regions: south, southeast, central, northeast and northwest. Because of the impact urbanization has on agricultural land values, the data for the southeast region, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, are confined to transition land values.

He said the survey indicates that the average value of agricultural land ranges from about $2,700 per acre for unimproved pasture and farm woods in Northwest Florida to almost $10,000 per acre for orange groves in Central and South Florida.

The value of grapefruit groves increased 88 percent in the south region of the state and 81 percent in the central region, largely because of crop loss from hurricanes, he said. The value of orange groves increased 52 percent to 53 percent in the central and south regions.

The average value of orange groves was $9,956 per acre in the south region – about $150 per acre higher than in the central region. The estimated value of grapefruit groves was $9,897 per acre in the south region – about $1,705 per acre higher than in the central region. The value of land with 5- to 7- year-old citrus plantings was $8,944 per acre in the south region – $83 per acre higher than in the central region.

In all regions of the state, the value of other types of cropland also increased by as much as 85 percent, and the value of pastureland increased by as much as 87 percent.

The value of irrigated cropland increased by 67 percent in the south region, 85 percent in the northeast region of the state and 83 percent in the northwest region. The value of irrigated cropland was $6,509 per acre in the south region, $6,356 per acre in the northeast region and $4,012 per acre in the northwest region.

The value of non-irrigated cropland increased 69 percent in the northeast and northwest regions. The value of non-irrigated cropland was $4,490 per acre in the northeast region and $3,332 in the northwest region.

Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences