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Farmland Sale: Southeast Iowa Land Fetches $8,000 per Acre

Reputation, location drive successful Keokuk County farmland auction.

It’s a familiar refrain for Troy Louwagie. Heirs of the Greatest Generation of farm families grow up on a farm, move away, and eventually sell the property. “That’s my typical seller today,” says Louwagie, real estate broker for Hertz Real Estate Services of Mount Vernon, Iowa.

That was the setup for the sale of 233 acres west of Keswick August 29. Two brothers who inherited the land several years ago decided it was time to sell the family farm. The local American Legion hall was full of prospective buyers, all of whom knew the owners took pride in their farm.

“The family has a good reputation, and their crops always look good. The property is well cared for,” Louwagie says. After competitive bidding, local farmers bought each of the three tracts. “When the buyers are happy and the sellers are happy, it’s a good sale.”

Tract Acres Total Per Acre
1 38 $288,800


2 155 $1.24 million $8,000
3 40 $196,000 $4,000

Here are more details:

  • Tract 1: 38 acres just west of Keswick, there is 36.06 acres of cropland and an acre of grass along the south boundary. Soil types include Otley, Nira, and Lamoni, with a Corn Suitability Rating 2 score of 70.62. A 30-foot drying bin with grain stirrers, and an older barn are on the property. It sold for $288,800 ($7,600 per acre).
  • Tract 2: 155 acres west of Keswick, with 146.70 acres tillable, featuring Nira, Otley, and Lamoni soils and a CSR2 of 70.01. The property is adequately tiled, and has a five-year yield history of 198.2 bushels per acre for corn; 51 bushels per acre for soybeans. A 54×90-foot machine shed is included in the property, as is another storage shed and a 28-foot drying bin. The land sold for $1.24 million ($8,000 per acre).
  • Tract 3: 40 acres just south of Tract 2. It has 33.7 acres in Conservation Reserve Program, paying $3,695 annually through 2019. Soils are Gara-Armstrong, Olmitz-Vesser-Zook, and Ladoga. A draw and trees run through this tract, which sold for $196,000 ($4,900 per acre).

The average CSR2 score for Keokuk County is 63. The 10-year average corn yield is 162 bushels per acre and for soybeans, 50 bushels per acre.

Best of the rest

Iowa, Page County: A 74.40-acre tract south of Stanton sold at auction August 24. The tract featured 71.29 tillable acres, with a CSR II of 59.1 (average CSR II for the county is 82). The farm is planted to soybeans, with the buyer to receive all the 2018 crop except for a 2.42-acre patch, which the seller retained. Auctioneer Steve Bergren, Bergren Real Estate and Auction, said the land is a good piece of ground but wasn’t a must-buy by the neighbors. As such, it sold for about what Bergren thought it would bring; the sale price is about $2,500 to 3,000 less than area land is averaging. The land brought $325,776, or $4,400 per acre. 

Illinois, Adams County: Two tracts northwest of Ursa, just east of the Great River National Wildlife Area, sold August 25. The farms totaled 274.81 acres. Tract 1 had 143.17 surveyed acres with 129.12 acres of cropland featuring Riley, Beaucoup, and Titus soils with a Productivity Index of 126.2, brought $859,020 ($6,000 per acre). Tract 2, adjacent to Tract 1, has 131.64 surveyed acres, with 129.94 acres of cropland with similar soil types and a PI of 128.4. It brought $1.343 million ($10,200 per acre). Sullivan Auctioneers had the sale.

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