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Farmland Sale: Bi-Rotor Inventors Land Sells

Inventor’s homestead and farmland averages $2,700 per acre. Plus, sales from Illinois, Indiana and South Dakota.

Every farmland auction has unique characteristics that differentiate it from other sales. The Estate Auction for Mark Underwood on October 29 is a good example.

Underwood, who invented the Bi-Rotor combine, died in 2017 after battling cancer. His heirs sold his farmland, plus farm machinery and tools, at the auction. Combined, the sale day featured an eclectic mix of tools, machinery, projects – some finished, some not – dozers and earth moving equipment, and more. It was a fascinating day.

Wolters Auction and Real Estate of Portis, Kansas, handled the sale. The farmland portion of the sale included two tracts totaling 180 acres in Jewell County (north-central Kansas), sold at noon. Bidding was active on the two tracts, with auctioneer Jim Wolters taking a couple of breaks to finalize the sale of Tract 1.

Here’s how the land sold:

Tract 1: 156 acres, featuring Harney silt loam and Holdrege silt loam soils, the tract is bordered on the north edge by a 4-acre railroad right-of-way. It rolls, yet has terraces and waterways in place. There is a farmstead with a tornado-damaged home on the property. The land sold for $435,000 ($2,788 per acre).

Tract 2, 25 acres, has 23 acres of tillable property with the rest in waste. Soil type is mostly Harney silt loam. The tract is adjacent to the ghost town of Otego. It sold for $53,000 ($2,160 per acre).

“It was more than we anticipated,” says Kent Culbertson, vice president, First National Bank of Phillipsburg, Kansas, who said the purchase price exceeded appraised value of the property. “We’re tickled with what it brought.”

Tract Acres Total Per Acre
1 156 $435,000 $2,788
2 25 $53,000 $2,160
Avg $488,000 $2,696


Illinois, Pike County: One tract totaling 135.92 acres sold October 26. The land is located 4 miles west of Rockport (west-central Illinois). There are 118.73 acres tillable, with pattern tile and a Productivity Index of 123. The farm is levy-protected from the adjacent Missouri River. It sold for $937,848 ($6,900 per acre). Sullivan Auctioneers had the sale.

Indiana, Rush County: Three tracts totaling 181.53 acres sold at auction October 30. Halderman Real Estate and Farm Management had the sale of three adjacent tracts northeast of Carthage. Tract 1, 82.02 acres is all tillable, tiled, and features Treaty, Crosby, and Miamian soils. Tract 2, 62.91 acres east of Tract 1, has similar soils and is tiled. There is a farmstead with some grain storage and usable outbuildings. Tract 3, 36.6 acres east of Tract 2, also has similar soils and is tiled. The land sold as one unit for $1.64 million ($9,034 per acre).

South Dakota, Turner County: Two tracts totaling 310 acres southeast of Marion (southeast South Dakota) sold at auction October 29. Tract 1, 149.47 acres in Marion Township, has 122 acres tillable, 24 acres pasture, and the rest in right-of-way. The soil types are Clarno-Ethan and Worthing with a Productivity Index of 66.9 (on a 0 to 100 scale). Tract 2, 160 acres just south of and adjacent to Tract 1, has 122.64 acres of tillable land, 33.57 acres of pasture, and the rest in right-of-way. Soil types include Clarno-Ethan-Bonilla loam and Worthing soils with a 74.7 PI. The tracts sold as one unit for $1.39 million ($4,500 per acre). Wieman Land and Auction had the sale.

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