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RSS By: Mike Walsten, Pro Farmer

Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 40 years.

Quality Eastern Corn Belt Farmland Finds Strong Buyers

Oct 09, 2009

Mike Walsten

As we've been reporting in recent issues of LandOwner, top quality farmland in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio is drawing strong buying interest and values appear to be holding. Poorer quality ground, however, still struggles. A recent press release from Rex Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company, Columbia City, Ind., supports our contention. Here is the text of his press release:

"September and early October provided a good test for agricultural land prices, and we continued to see the trends that became established in the spring and summer -- strong prices on high-quality ag land with weakness in prices of lower quality land," said Rex Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company. "The lower commodity prices have had no measurable impact on the prices for the better farms. The supply-demand ratio is continuing to work in the favor of strong land prices," said Schrader.

"On the buy side, we're continuing to see strong crowds and energetic bidding. This, combined with the limited supply of land for sale, seems to be providing support for strong prices," he said. In many cases, farmland that had shot up in price because of location and development potential is reverting to pricing based on its agricultural use. "With little development occurring, and with the demand for country lots drying up, we're seeing less of a premium for land in areas where development is likely," Schrader said.

Here is a rundown on recent results in the three states, along with Schrader's observations on conditions in each state:


  • 487 acres in Montgomery County, $6,740 per acre
  • 380 acres in Madison County, $7,592 per acre
  • 733 acres in Vermilion County, $5,903 per acre
  • 40 acres in Will County for $12,731 per acre

"The market held steady over the past 12 months on all this land except for the drop in prices in Will County for transitional land from potentially $20,000 to $12,731 per acre," said Schrader.


  • 408 acres in Allen County for $5,760 per acre
  • 103 acres in Allen County for $7,515 per acre (with buildings)
  • 106 acres in Wabash County for $5,330 per acre
  • 188 acres in Starke County for $2,383 per acre
  • 126 acres in Lagrange County for $2,484 per acre
  • 71 acres in Wayne County for $3,085 per acre

"The Indiana market held steady over the past 12 months on this land, except for the recreational land (off 10 to 20%) and the low grade soils (off 10 to 20%)," said Schrader.


  • 237 acres in Paulding County for $5,891 per acre
  • 418 acres in Hancock County for $3,888 per acre
  • 116 acres in Paulding County for $3,715 per acre
  • 97 acres in Darke County for $3,670 per acre

"In Ohio, the market held steady  over the past 12 months on this land except for the lower grade soils that were offered, which may be off by some 10 percent," said Schrader.

I talk about what's happening in northwestern Iowa in the most current issue of my newsletter, LandOwner. If interested in seeing a copy, just drop me an email at or call 800-772-0023.


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COMMENTS (2 Comments)

I Agree!!! Like I said before, they better get it while they can!!!!!!!!!
11:22 PM Oct 12th
Ya know what the old saying is, a fool and his money is soon parted.
11:00 PM Oct 11th

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