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SW Iowa, Kansas Sales Show Broadening Strength, Values For Farmland

Back-to-back farmland auctions in Iowa and Kansas brought a total of $8,295,000 this week, demonstrating that the rise in land values extends to a variety of areas and land types.

"Both of these farms sold at very strong prices by historical standards in their respective pockets, showing once again that farmland values continue to show strength across the board," said R.D. Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company, which conducted both auctions.

In Southwest Kansas, the company sold 699 acres Wednesday for $1,825,000, with most of the tillable land averaging $2,952 per acre. "Just fourteen months ago, we sold some comparable land in the next county for about $1,900 per acre," said Schrader.

In Southwest Iowa on the previous day, the company sold 983 acres for a total of $6,470,000. "In that case, most of the more productive land went to a non-farmer investor, who purchased 616 acres for an average price of $7,629 per acre.

"Sometimes we focus so much on the top tier of the market, where prices are reaching well over $10,000 per acre, that people don't realize the opportunities that exist in different locations," said Schrader. "The reality is twofold: Landowners are enjoying excellent returns across the board, and there are still a lot of great values out there."

Local investors and farmers continue to play a major role in many farmland auctions, according to Schrader. "In the Southwest Iowa auction, the biggest buyer was a local professional who is purchasing the land as an investment and plans to lease it to local farmers. In Kansas, the buyer who purchased most of the land was an alfalfa grower with other holdings in the area. The most enthusiastic buyers are still local farmers and investors who know the land best," he said.

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