Land Sale of the Week: $5,483/acre in Deep Southern Illinois

12:02PM Aug 29, 2014
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Mike Walsten

The deep southern Illinois farmland market is not known for large, multi-parcel auctions, so this week's auction of 765 acres in 13 tracts drew plenty of attention. It also brought a strong price for the area.

The farm tracts are located about 8 miles west of Benton in Franklin County. Soils in the region tend to carry productivity ratings of 80 to 106, well off from the 147 maximum as listed by Bulletin 811. The sum of the high bids for the tracts and various combinations of tracts was $4,195,000 or about $5,483 an acre, according to Joe Bubon, executive vice president of Murray Wise Associates, LLC, Champaign, which handled the auction.

The auction attracted 45 bidders that included farmers as well as local and institutional investors. "We had a classic competition between investors and local farms, and a large investor was in the competition right up to the end. But it was the farmers who ended up as the high bidders," says Bubon. "In the end, we had four different buyers of the land."

The overall average selling price of $5,483 an acre, "beat a recent appraisal by a significant amount and was an excellent outcome for land of this quality in Franklin County," Bubon continues. "Even with lower corn prices, we see a solid base of demand for land. Farmers and most investors are looking beyond the current commodity markets and thinking long term," he concludes.

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