Despite the challenges facing farmers and the general agricultural marketplace in the Midwest, farmland values — a major bellwether of overall ag financial health — are trending slightly higher, according to the latest version of the annual survey of realtors and appraisers in Iowa. That state’s survey data typically reflects adjacent and similar ag states’ values, as is the case in Minnesota, where recent land sales figures show a “sense of optimism” among farmer bidding on land. Outside investor interest in land is also contributing to the state of the market. Though there are doubts about the connection of high land sales prices to the actual health of the ag economy, other factors like strong crop yield reports, government payments and low interest rates are contributing to the land market’s relative strength. See the latest discussion here.