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Migration Dialogue provides timely, factual and nonpartisan information and analysis of international migration issues through five major activities: the newsletters Migration News and Rural Migration News, Changing Face and other Research & Seminars, and the Sloan West Coast Program on Science and Engineering Workers.
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The average price of US crop land was $4,100 in 2014, and $10,140 per acre in California. One index of farm land prices shows them appreciating almost five percent a year since 1990.
Crop land prices in Midwestern states doubled between 2005 and 2013, but are expected to stabilize and potentially fall because a large corn crop in 2014 is depressing grain prices. Historically, the gross revenue per acre from crops was 12 to 16 percent of the value of crop land. Corn prices in 2007-08 rose faster than land prices, so that gross revenues was 20 percent of the value of crop land, but rising land prices have reduced gross revenues to just 10 percent of crop land values. Lower crop prices and rising interest rates could result in a 20 percent drop in crop land prices.
USDA projects a record 14 billion bushel corn crop, driving corn prices below $3.50 a bushel, the lowest in four years. High corn prices and drought have reduced cattle herds, so that cattle may not consume their usual 35 percent of US-produced corn. A third of US corn is used to make ethanol. However, most US vehicles cannot operate with a blend of more than 10 percent ethanol, limiting more diversion of corn into fuel.