GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Drought that devastated crops and pastures in much of the Upper Midwest last year didn't stop the price of farmland from shooting higher, especially in North Dakota.

The Agriculture Department says the average price of an acre of North Dakota cropland has risen nearly 42 percent over the year.

The value rose 20 percent in Minnesota and 30 percent in South Dakota. The increase nationally was 13 percent.

North Dakota State University Extension Service farm management specialist Dwight Aakre tells the Grand Forks Herald there are a couple of reasons for the increases.

He says drought caused the price of crops like corn to rise, encouraging farmers to pay more for land to grow the crop. And low interest rates also have contributed to the rising land prices.