DELPHOS — In 2013, farmland sold for record sums and the prices remained high for a long time, according to Ron Spencer of Ron Spencer Realty. Now, however, Spencer said current prices are almost two-thirds less than the price was in 2013.

“Not so good,” Spencer said. “We may see this for a couple of years.”

Spencer does think farmland prices have held up well even though the land isn’t going for as much as previously. Prices do fluctuate, of course. For example, a recent sale in Defiance had 411. 5 acres going for $1.9 million or $4,617 an acre. But the inverse is also true. Spencer recently sold a farm in Madison County for $15,000 an acre and not so long ago, a Mercer County farm went for $17,000 an acre.

Farmland is still a popular and solid investment and Spencer gave two reasons why. First, many investors see bank’s interest rates as a disincentive and investments in the stock market are always at risk of a market drop.

“Land is land,” he said. “It seems like all of it is holding its value quite well. There are people who are concerned about the current interest rates banks are paying and it looks like farmland is a better investment.”

The second reason Spencer noted is (farm) land is always going to be there and owners do get a return off of it every year.

Jessica Merschman, a realtor with Schrader Realty, says prices also depend on what people are buying cropland for — production or protection. The average price locally is $9,500 an acre but she has sold some for $11,800 an acre.

Merschman added a few more reasons why farmland prices are doing well. Some people are buying farmland to keep hog farmers from building on the land. It seems no one wants a hog farm as a neighbor; the strong smell is off putting. She added that there is less and less farmland available for sale as well.

“Farmland does not come up for sale very often,” she said.

There are other secondary factors in cropland prices. Crop prices and soil quality are two of those factors. The crop report came out Thursday and it shows that farmers planted an additional three million acres in corn this year over last year. Consequently, corn prices dropped 14 cents a bushel. Obviously, earning less money per acre is one factor.

Then there’s soil type. Some soils are better than others. For example, the best soil is Pewano and then Blount. Quite often, a combination of the two types are common. Brookston and Milgrove are also good soil types for a farm, Spencer said. Spencer considers the Morley series to be the least productive soil than other types.