Machinery Pete: Land Value Trends
Oct 24, 2015
I wish I could go back in time.
26 years, to when I began compiling auction sale price data on all types of farm and construction equipment sold throughout North America. It’s been a blast. Just one regret I have…I realize now I should have also been compiling farm land prices all this time too.
Although I don’t have a database of land prices, I have always made a point when talking to our network of 1,000 auction firms over the years to always inquire with them about local land prices…what are they seeing? What’s good ground in their area going for? How much land has been on the market, more? Less?
And also when I’m out covering sales and talking with farmers. The conversation always turns eventually to land values. At a September 28th farm machinery auction I covered in north-central Iowa I got visiting with a pair of farmers from northwest Iowa, near Rock Rapids, IA. They mentioned some local ground there recently sold for $15,500/acre.
Which brings me to my point…yes, the top may have come off farm land values a bit from couple years ago, but prices being paid for good ground are still very robust. I’ve been hearing this same sentiment from many of the auctioneers I talk to on a daily basis all over the country. Just Thursday I bumped into an auctioneer friend here in Rochester, MN where I live. Dan Sullivan with Sullivan auctioneers sell farm ground over a four state area in the Midwest. I had my I-phone with me so I shot a little video with Dan getting his take on current trends they’ve seen with land values:
Couple interesting takeaways from the interview I thought: “I’m not saying top not off a little bit, but not what you might think,” Sullivan said. Also this: “Last 30-45 days land pushed up a little bit.”
Jives with what many other auction firms been telling me.
Just as with used farm machinery, a very interesting time here the past year or so for farm land values given the current state of the ag economy. And just as with used machinery values, dangerous to make assumptions that prices must be way off.
Maybe not as much as you think.