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Your Precious Land

RSS By: Mike Walsten, Pro Farmer

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

Two Sales Reports Suggest Strong Demand

May 04, 2010

Mike Walsten

Two recent auctions, one in Georgia the other in Indiana, underline the strength that's returned to the farmland. Both auctions were conducted by Schrader Real Estate & Auction Co., Inc., Columbia City, Indiana. The Indiana auction featured cropland and some picturesque homesights and cattle facilities. The Georgia auction offered 4,900 acres of primarily timber and was conducted with the timber-auction firm Woltz & Associates, Roanoke, Virginia. Below are the press releases from Schrader concerning both auctions.

Indiana farmland auction draws crowd of 250, resulting in $3.7 million sale

FAIRMOUNT, Ind. (April 22, 2010) – Monday's auction of a 681-acre farm attracted a crowd of more than 250 people – including 76 registered bidders – resulting in a sale for a total price of more than $3.7 million.

The outcome re-confirmed the recent strength in prices of quality farmland, according to Rex Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company. “The price per acre definitely indicated that farmland prices are higher than in the fall of 2009. Demand is strong, and the number of farms on the market remains at record lows,” said Schrader.

The local bidders dominated the early bidding, which reached a total of $3,067,000 on 15 individual tracts. After larger bidders began making offers on combinations, the final total came to $3,717,000.

“Almost all of the cropland went for $5,607 per acre to one investor who had searched diligently for a farmland investment that met his requirements,” said Schrader. “We had  spirited competition between this buyer and several local bidders. The result underscores the strength of the market and the quality of the land, which had been in one family for three generations,” he said.

In addition to the large cropland sale, there were six other successful buyers for homesteads, woodland, and a cell tower.  The main homestead last occupied by Lloyd Campbell sold for $250,000 to a local family, and the cell tower sold for $100,000 to an out-of-state investor.

The land was owned by the Lloyd and Charlotte Campbell Trust. Campbell, who died in November 2009, had been very active in selling feeders and buying fat cattle from many area cattlemen while working many years for the Emge Packing Company. Three of his four sons were able to attend the auction, traveling from their respective homes in Tennessee and California.

Georgia land auction draws big crowds, resulting in sale of  4,900 acres over two days

DUBLIN, GA. (April 17, 2010) – Hunters, investors, timberland buyers and other bidders snapped up approximately 4,900 acres of land in a two-day auction of South Georgia forest land April 9-10, as two of the nation's leading land auction companies combined forces to sell the land for Rayonier.

The sale, which included sessions in Waycross, Ga., on April 9 and in Dublin, Ga., on April 10, resulted in a combined sale price of more than $6.3 million in the Woltz & Schrader auction. The auction attracted capacity crowds on both days.

“It was a very successful auction. We had sought to create a level playing field between large buyers and those who wanted smaller amounts of land, and that worked out just as we had hoped,” said Jim Woltz, president of Woltz & Associates. “For most of the two days, we had a tug-of-war between bidders seeking to buy large combinations of tracts and those seeking just 100 acres or so.”

“We offered the land in 106 tracts, and we had more than 40 different successful buyers, so the bidders seeking smaller amounts of land more than held their own against the larger investors,” said Gene Klingaman, vice president of Schrader. “This served to create more competition, ensuring that the high bids would represent fair values based on today's market conditions, so we were pleased with the outcome.”

Rayonier accepted more than 86 percent of the total bids based on value, said Woltz. “Additional offers on additional land are being considered,” he said.

The auction included land in 16 counties throughout Southeast Georgia.

If interested in seeing a copy of my LandOwner newsletter, just drop me an email at landowner@profarmer.com or call 800-772-0023.

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