Economic uncertainty had some non-operating farmland owners rushing to sell, which was evident in the last three months of the year, according to Farmers National Company, the largest farmland and ranchland real estate company in the country.

Overall for 2012, Farmers National Company reports that sales activity was up 40 percent over 2011.

“We anticipated another record year in 2012, but what we’ve seen has exceeded our expectations,” said Derrick Volchoff, ALC, vice president of real estate operations at Farmers National Company.

Projected changes in tax laws prompted many landowners who were planning to sell in the next two years to act before new rules take effect. This high level of activity is likely to lead to a short supply of available land as we enter 2013, according to Volchoff, which could drive values even higher.

“Pure economics should dictate that values rise if the supply of available land tightens,” said Volchoff.