“It’s the old story of location, location, location. What most buyers want to know is whether the acreage is close to their place of employment, good schools, churches, hard-surface roads and parks. Ninety-nine percent of the people who call me about acreages are going to come and look when one comes up for sale. Very few have said ‘forget it’ if they see a hog barn in the neighborhood. Many understand that farmers raise hogs and cattle out in the country and know that it comes with the territory. For most, it’s a non-issue.” —Jeff Obrecht, a 20-year veteran of the real estate business who also is an auctioneer and independent contractor and does considerable business in Hardin County, Iowa, home to the most hogs of any county in the state
Do livestock farms affect the value of nearby land and residences? The answer is a provocative “yes.”
That’s the conclusion of an analysis conducted by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers that included a review of property values studies and published news stories as well as one-on-one conversations with realtors and county assessors.
Several studies, for example, show that livestock barns and feedlots slightly reduce the market value of neighboring property; others reveal a positive correlation. Some studies find that larger farms have a positive impact on nearby property values while smaller farms negatively impact them. And personal testimony from realtors, assessors and land auctioneers who do business in some of the state’s most prolific livestock farming counties reveals demand and prices for rural acreages remains strong – including those located near modern livestock farms.
The fact is that property values — and their rise and fall — are based on many factors including proximity to business, number of recreational opportunities, the performance of local, state and national economies, housing availability, population trends and convenience of transportation routes, to name just a few. However, it’s fair to say that a strong and robust livestock sector enhance property values.
“The obvious implication is that
individuals will realize different impacts from the location of CAFOs.
An interesting point raised in the study of Iowa property values is that
larger operations tend to be newly built and employ best available
technologies for dealing with waste and odor. As a result, it may be
that larger operations are not necessarily more harmful than smaller
—Roman Keeney, Asst. Professor of Ag Economics, Purdue Extension
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