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Iowa’s falling farmland prices hit at harvest time in Davenport

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It's a golden time for the Keppy family in Davenport on Monday.

More than a week into the corn harvest, it looks like a bumper crop for the sixth generation farming family.

"Where the corn is good, it's very good," said Glen Keppy.  "It's a record."

But a record harvest doesn't mean record prices.

The value of their Iowa land is dropping more than 11% over the last year.

"What's really sad about the whole thing, it affects the whole Quad Cities," Keppy said.  "It affects the whole state of Iowa."

It's a response to the current farm economy.

The correction is cutting crop prices in half from a few years ago.

Add that to insecurity over interest rates and global instability.

"They're not quite as eager to increase the bids or bid quotes as aggressively at the auction," said Farm Manager Ryan Roetman.

Even so, experts with Ruhl Farm & Land say that Iowa acres remain popular and in high demand.

"The values haven't fallen near as much as what you'd assume for the low commodity price," said Eric Schlutz, a Louisa County farmer and realtor.

Glen Keppy knows all about the corrections.  It's his third.

Still, he doesn't think there will be a negative long-term impact.

Keppy, who survived the 80's farm crisis, doesn't anticipate another.

Recovery, though, could take a few years.

"There will come a time when farmers will want to spend money again, and John Deere will be at maximum production," he said.

Until then, he advises farmers to make the most of their land.

"Farmers are going to buckle down and change a few things," he concluded.  "They'll come out of this okay."

It's advice to harvest this season, along with the bumper corn crop.

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