Wisconsin farmland values steady as Midwest sees declines

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin farmland's value remained steady in 2016, unlike the rest of the Midwest.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that nearly every state in the region saw decreases to farmland values last year because of low commodity prices. Iowa's land values fell for the third year in a row, an issue the state hasn't encountered since the 1980s.

But Dennis Badtke, chief appraiser from Badgerland Financial, says Wisconsin land prices are surprisingly strong because people still have enough money and borrowing capacity.

Farm appraiser Arlin Brannstrom says Wisconsin's diverse agriculture industry makes it more resilient to the impact of low prices. He says the state could see land decrease in value this year as rental rates decline and higher interest rates make loans less attractive.

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