Structural changes in the farm production sector, continued pressure to reform existing agricultural policies, and an increasing demand for nonagricultural real estate emphasize the need for rural land market research. Rural land, with a wide diversity of physical characteristics and use, continues to be a large portion of Louisiana's total land base. Of Louisiana's total 28,493,440 land acres, cropland and pastureland account for 7,811,413 acres or 27 percent (1992 Louisiana Census of Agriculture). If timberland is included (USDA, Forest Service, 1991), rural land accounts for 79 percent of Louisiana's total land acreage. The measurement of economic, locational, and topographic variables hypothesized to influence rural land values is expected to be useful in managing Louisiana's land resource. This report presents estimates of the effects of various rural real estate characteristics on the value of rural real estate. This analysis does not include macroeconomic variables and aesthetic or psychological factors that may influence rural real estate prices. Therefore, information provided herein should be used in a general context and should not be used as the sole source of valuation for any specific parcel of rural real estate. Current local market conditions may not be accurately reflected in the results because of the limited data and the complexity of factors influencing values in a local land market.


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