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Successful Land Sale: McDonough County, Illinois, Land Brings $12,200

Higher-than-expected price paid by an investor.

In Illinois, farmland quality is ranked based on the Crop Productivity Index, which ranges from 61 to 147. This week, Sullivan Auctioneers conducted an auction of two tracts in McDonough County that had a CPI of 142.5 and 142.7, respectively. That’s awfully good ground.

The tracts are side by side, located about 3.5 miles southeast of Blandinsville. Tract 1 is 103.54 acres and Tract 2 is 100.71 acres. They both featured Sable and Ipava soils. The drawback is that both farms probably need tile. Nevertheless, “…this was a good farm,” reports Dan Sullivan, one of the auction company’s owners.

The farms sold to an investor for $12,200 per acre, or $2.492 million. He reckons that a few years ago, the land would have brought $13,500 per acre.

Still, given the dramatic drop in crop prices, the actual selling price was higher than Sullivan expected, and the longtime auctioneer is a bit perplexed at the strength of land prices. His firm had two more sales this week – one in Missouri and another in Illinois. Both brought strong prices, which leads him to believe there is a lot of cash in the country.

“Crop prices are depressed, but there are a lot of bushels out there. Areas where soybean yields average 50 bushels per acre are seeing much higher yields this year,” he says. “We know a lot of farmers are going to bin it up and wait for marketing opportunities.”

Low interest rates, too, continue to be a factor. Not only can farmers lock in low interest rates for long-term land purchases, but investors are looking at places to park money for a better return on investment than savings or certificates.

Sullivan Auctioneers has several land sales on the books this fall and winter, and there is plenty of interest from potential buyers, he says.

Oct 19 AcreValue

For more information on this tract, view the full AcreValue report.

Best of the Rest

Kansas, Jewell and Mitchell counties: Three tracts totaling 370 acres sold October 18. The land is located about 10 miles southwest of Jewell. Soil types of all three tracts are mostly Roxbury and Harney silt loams. Tract 1, 49.59 acres, all tillable, sold for $195,000 ($3,932 per acre). Tract 2, 160 acres, has 86.66 acres cropland and the rest in pasture. It sold for $395,000 ($2,470 per acre). Tract 3, 159.33 acres, has 157.85 acres tillable and the rest in waste. It sold for $355,000 ($2,228 per acre). Total proceeds were $945,000 ($2,554 per acre). Thummel Auction and Real Estate had the sale.

Nebraska, Kearney County: Two tracts totaling 160 acres sold October 19. The land is located southeast of Minden. Tract 1, 80.97 acres, has mostly Holdrege and Holt silt loam soils and is nearly level. It is irrigated with an 8-inch well, pump, and gearhead, but the pivot system belongs to the owner. It sold for $643,712 ($7,950 per acre). Tract 2, 79.43 acres of dryland cropland, is gently rolling and dominated by Holdrege soils. It sold for $278,005 ($3,500 per acre). Ruhter Auction and Realty had the sale. 

South Dakota, Union County: Four tracts totaling 563.78 acres sold October 13. The land is located east of Junction City. Tract 1, 163.78 acres, has 155.25 tillable acres with mostly Wakonda-Worthing-Chancellor soils. It sold for $982,680 ($6,000 per acre). Tract 2, 80 acres, has mostly Wakonda-Worthing-Chancellor soils and 78.6 tillable acres. It sold for $440,000 ($5,500 per acre). Tract 3, 160 acres, has Wakonda-Worthing-Chancellor soils and 144.68 tillable acres. It sold for $816,000 ($5,100 per acre). Tract 4, 160 acres, has 83.64 tillable and the rest in pasture and trees. It sold for $776,000 ($4,850 per acre). Total selling price was $3.015 million ($5,348 per acre). Farmers National had the sale.

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