The selling price of agricultural land has shown an unprecedented rise over the last 25 years, due to a number of factors. Economists and real estate men have attempted to appraise the role of (1) land purchases as a hedge against inflation, (2) higher returns per acre, (3) the need for farm enlargement, (4) urban expansion, and (5) the equity position of farmers. Examples of such appraisals include those by Regan and Clarenbach (10), Scofield (11), and Miller (8).1 This paper tries to answer in a meaningful way the question of what has happened to the value of agricultural land on typical commercial farms and why it has happened. The author wishes to thank W. Herbert Brown and William H. Scofield for suggestions and criticisms. Edward J. Smith, Lawrence H. Shaw, and John E. Lee were helpful reviewers.


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