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Land still selling well

Iowa farmland values continue to hold steady with increased sale prices for high-quality land. Neighboring farmers and landowners are the primary buyers, although a few investors are also interested in buying land at current prices.

The strongest farmland sales occur when multiple, well-capitalized, neighboring farmers want to buy the same piece of land being sold at auction. High farm income, low interest rates and an uncertainty in government policy are driving farmland prices higher. Fundamental factors for ag production remain strong, with record net farm income last year.

If Congress does not extend the current tax rates, income taxes and capital gains taxes are scheduled to increase. Some owners are considering selling their land, and would like to sell before this occurs. Estates and multiple-owner properties, where one or more owners wish to cash out, comprise the majority of sellers in today’s market. Most owners are strong holders of their farmland.

NORTHWEST

Dickinson County: North of Superior, 105.5 acres sold at public auction for $6,400 per acre. The farm has 101.3 tillable acres and a 63.8 CSR.

NORTH CENTRAL

Humboldt County: Last month, 407.43 acres sold for $6,900 per acre. It has 389.6 crop acres. The west parcel has a 65.1 CSR, and the east parcel a 55.9 CSR. Improvements include a home, machine shed, grain bins and other buildings.

NORTHEAST

Black Hawk County: A sale of 143 acres was completed at a price of $1,651,650, or $11,550 per acre. The CSR is 86.8; the farm is 98% tillable. An investor sold to a farmer.

WEST CENTRAL

Greene County: Two farms sold at auction in southwest Greene County. A 240-acre tract, with 219.85 crop acres and a CSR of 82.2, sold for $8,550 per acre. The second tract of 80 acres, with 72.56 crop acres and a CSR of 81.6, sold for $8,700 per acre. Seller is a family investment partnership, and the buyers of both tracts are farmers.

CENTRAL

Story County: In southern Story County, 96 acres sold at auction for $8,150 per acre to an investor. It has 90.3 crop acres with a 79.4 CSR. Cost per crop acre per CSR point is $109. The land is bordered by a hardtop road on the north and a diagonal railroad right-of-way (now a bike trail) on the south.

EAST CENTRAL

Benton County: Near Norway, 40 acres with 37.7 cropland acres and an average CSR of 74.5 sold for $360,000, or $9,000 per acre.

SOUTHWEST

Pottawattamie County: A 153.54-acre farm sold at auction for $1,366,506, or $8,900 per acre. It has 140 tillable acres and a 63.4 CSR. Buyer is a farmer; seller is a retired farmer.

SOUTH CENTRAL

Madison County: Recently, 68 acres sold for $5,700 per acre. Farm includes 2 acres of CRP and has 64 crop acres with a CSR of 66. It has terraces with 19,000 feet of tile and an annual application of chicken manure.

SOUTHEAST

Lee County: West of Argyle, 143.59 acres sold at public auction for $5,250 per acre for a total of $753,847. The farm has 131 cropland acres with 8 acres enrolled in CRP.

Hertz Real Estate Services compiled this list, but not all sales were handled by Hertz. Call Hertz at 515-382-1500 or visit www.hfmgt.com.

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This article published in the July, 2012 edition of WALLACES FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.