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      Iowa cropland value hits new record $8,750 an acre

      The value of farmland in Iowa is up again this year reaching a new high at a time when many observers expect values to drop due to falling commodity prices.

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a new report released Friday the average value of an acre of cropland in Iowa rose 9.4 percent from a year ago to a new record $8,750.

      The value of farm real estate - a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms - climbed 10.4 percent to $8,500 an acre. Iowa leads the nation in the value of farmland and buildings with a total value of $235.6 billion. That's up nearly 18 percent.

      The annual report is based on producer surveys completed in the first two weeks of June.