By Gary Joiner

Land values haven’t fared well across the U.S. compared to a year ago. Analysts say the situation in Texas is better than in most states, but increases in land values in 2016 are less than those of recent years.

Double-digit increases have been replaced by growth of only 2.75 percent. Pastureland values in Texas, meanwhile, remain flat.

Why? Land values are influenced by beef prices and income, according to analysts. Both are down significantly right now.

Just as Texas homeowners worry about the annual appraised value of their residence, farmers and ranchers closely monitor land values. Because land is a critical asset. Its value weighs heavily in financing options and decisions.

Farmers and ranchers counter a drop in farm real estate by sharpening those tools they can control. Things such as efficient management, focused marketing and, as always, hard work.

You’ve likely heard the description, “Land rich and cash poor.” That certainly is the traditional position of many farmers and ranchers. That’s why land values are so important. Much is at stake in this annual forecast.

Their economic vulnerability to swings in the market is only matched by their resolve and resiliency.