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U.S. Plains farmland up more than 20%, set records

'Almost all recent auctions were sold to the largest farmers in the area wanting to get bigger'

(Reuters) Farmland values in the U.S. Plains states jumped more than 20 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as farms sold at record-high prices, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said on Friday.

Irrigated cropland attracted the most interest, given the worst drought in 50 years in the world’s top food producer, the Kansas City Fed said.

This was the seventh consecutive quarter irrigated and non-irrigated cropland values posted year-over-year gains of more than 20 percent as record crop prices kept demand for farmland hot, according to a quarterly survey of bankers by the Kansas City Fed.

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