With the sale of six southwest Wisconsin farms totaling approximately 1,182 acres -- at prices reaching as high as $9,252 per acre for tillable farmland -- Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company has managed a series of November sales that have shown the market for farmland to be alive and well.

"Whether we've been in Wisconsin, Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan or Ohio, we've consistently seen big crowds and intense competition for the properties we've offered during November. We've seen it on farms of all sizes, in a broad geographic area. This has resulted in very strong sale prices, with participation from farmers and investors alike," said Schrader.

The Wisconsin farms, which also included considerable wooded recreational land, sold for more than $6.5 million, with both farmers and investors competing vigorously for the land. "The biggest purchaser was a farmer, who paid $9,252 per acre for two tracts making up 256 acres. Other tracts went for various prices, with both farmers and investors making farmland purchases," said Schrader.

"In a market like this one, there's a strong temptation to try to prognosticate, but all we can ever really know is what we're actually seeing in the marketplace. We all know that annual gains of 20 or 25 percent can't be sustained forever. But what prices will do in the future is something only the marketplace can tell us," said Schrader.

"Just this month, we've seen $9,343 per acre in Michigan and $8,277 per acre in Lake County, Ind., where the total sale was $10.42 million. Farther south in Arkansas, we had a $6.41 million sale, at $3,675 per acre. Prices vary depending on the quality of soils, location, and the percentage of tillable land, but the direction has continued upward," said Schrader.