Land Sale of the Week: $20,400/acre in Northwest Iowa

June 11, 2014 08:00 AM
Land Sale of the Week: $20,400/acre in Northwest Iowa

A farm sale in northwest Iowa is again making headlines as 80 acres of truly prime cropland passed under the gavel for $20,400 an acre June 9. At a time when farmland sales are soft and prospects for gains in farmland values seem slim due to lower commodity prices, the ability for a block of land to top $20,000 an acre is certainly headline making.

The tract of land involved consisted of 80 acres two miles east of Boyden in Sioux County. It offered 78.3 tillable acres and excellent soils. It carried a Corn Suitability Rating (CSR) of 76.2 (maximum 100), which is quite extraordinary in northwest Iowa. The county CSR average is 64.8, so the soils are some 18% better than average. Iowa is switching to a new CSR rating system called CSR2, which updates the CSR rating system developed in the early 1970s. That system, too, maxes out at 100. This farm's soils offered a CSR2 of 99.5!

The Boyden area of Sioux County has been a hotbed of high farmland prices due to deeply entrenched, multi-generational, well-financed livestock and grain farm family operations in that area. In addition, ethanol demand has added additional compeition in the region.

Farmers National Company of Omaha, Neb., handled the auction.

For more information about LandOwner, please click here or call 800-772-0023.

See what farmland values are in your area. Plus, get information on cash rent rates on AgWeb's Farmland Value Guide.

Back to news



Spell Check

Carbondale, IL
6/13/2015 04:45 PM

  What a time for agriculture, with a discussion of the merits of $20K plus farmland sales. What is the value of a “best in the township” piece of property next to or near to your operation? . It doesn’t take a very sharp pencil to see that it can’t cash flow with today’s prices, or even the average of commodity prices over the last 10 years, or even when amortizing 10 years of commodity prices using prices from 2013. It could very well be another generation or more before land prices in general attain this level. Farming has had a good run the last 10 years. We are good investors in the things we know, livestock, grains, equipment and land. But we tend to be poor investors outside of our area. There are some that don’t utilize IRA’s never mind a diversified portfolio. So if you are of an age that you are close to retiring or at that age and have allowed your checking account to grow into seven figures, just in case something comes along, well then maybe. But don’t believe this is investing in land, anymore than using your check as an investment. But it could be seen as investing for the next generation if they are interested in farming. You could go 20 or 30 miles away and possibly buy twice the acreage for the price, but its not the piece you’ve looked at all your life across the road when you pick up the mail each morning. Is it a prudent use of cash, probably not. If your grand son wants to farm give him the farm, but teach him to be a wiser investor in land so he's not the last generation to farm.

Worthington, MN
3/18/2015 09:37 AM

  Re: Sioux Co. land sale,it took 2 bidders to get to the 20,400,they wanted it,they had the money and are apparently not concerned about the return on investment,often times it's a once in a lifetime chance to purchase a parcel close to home base,for next generation. As far as finance the bnk. would go with 25% if buyer had the rest,so it could go down about 15,000 per A. before banker has an issue,if its pd. for it really won't matter what its worth. As far as no bids at an auction,unless there is a minimum it don't happen,the true worth of anything is determined by the buyer not the seller if its up on auction w/no reserve,if you want the price you think its worth sell it private treaty. I would rather own land than $ in investments at mercy of the Dow etc.Mark Twain, said buy real estate they ain't making any more,the advice still holds today.

lakeville, MN
3/12/2015 05:53 PM

  Why do I care about the moron who paid the most, how about discussing the auctions that are "no sale" due to lack of bids or bids that are substandard to what the sellers think it is worth. That is the real value of information that could be provided.


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer