California’s epic, headline-grabbing drought has not dented the value of the state’s farm land.
According to a new USDA dataset released today, California cropland rose 2.1 percent in value per acre in the last year, and 16 percent since 2012. Despite drought, California cropland remains at $10,900 an acre the second most valuable in the nation behind New Jersey. (New Jersey? Ag econ nerds please help in the comments.)
One might hypothesize that groundwater pumping on irrigated land is the explanation. (I did, in fact, so hypothesize.) But one’s hypothesis might be wrong. Non-irrigated California cropland is rising more quickly in value than irrigated land – but both are going up.