It's a good bet that the average cash rent in Illinois will break through the $200 ceiling in 2008.
Farm managers expect 2008 cash rents to increase to $212 in 2008, up from this year's $191 average rental rate, according to a mid year survey by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
"Cash rents are likely to increase about $21 an acre," says Gary Schnitkey, a University of Illinois farm management specialist and secretary/treasurer of the ISPFMRA.
Schnitkey played down rumors that cash rents in the Springfield area could hit $350 next year. Some members reported cash rents averaging in the higher $250 range, but none indicated a $350 cash rent average, he said.
In 2006, cash rents were $169 per acre, making the expected 2008 cash rents $43 over the 2006 level.
The August survey also showed a trend toward more use of flexible cash rent leases. Some 62% of the professional farm managers expect an increase in flexible cash rents. A full 80% expect a decrease in the use of share rent leases, while 69% indicate an expected increase in cash rents in 2008.