Average cash rents paid by Illinois farmers for 2011 were recently released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Published on a county basis, the rent report showed the highest average cash rent was $260/acre in Macon County. This is the second year the county has had the highest average rent in the state.

Statewide, cash rents average $183/acre. This is an 8% increase from 2010 when the state average was $169/acre.

Overall, the highest rents were found in central Illinois where Macon County is located. The second highest average rent was $252/acre in Sangamon County and the third highest $246/acre in Logan County.

Illinois is a state of contrasts, however. Cash rents in the southern part of the state were much lower than the northern part of the state. Here, rents dropped to a low of $74/acre in Williamson County.

The NASS county cash rent report is available at: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Illinois/Publications/Current_News_Release/Pr-2011-Cash-Rents.pdf