AMES, Iowa (AP) — The value of Iowa farmland increased by an average of 1.7% in the past year despite severe weather, trade uncertainty and the coronavirus pandemic, according to the annual Iowa Land Value Survey.

The survey, led by Iowa State University economics professor Wendong Zhang and released Tuesday, found the average value of an acre of farmland was $7,559. That's an increase of $127 since 2019.

Farmland value was aided by low interest rates, strong demand for land and billions of dollars in federal payments to farmers.

“The land market faced downward pressure initially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which lowered food demand and resulted in declines in livestock and ethanol prices,” Zhang said in a news release.

The survey found that values increased in 78 of Iowa's 99 counties. Scott County in eastern Iowa had the highest average value, at $10,659 an acre, down $178 from the previous year.

The lowest average value was in Decatur County, in southern Iowa, at $3,849. That's an increase of $264 per acre.