Demand for Midwestern farmland continued to show signs of good health this week when 345 acres of Indiana land sold for $3,612,840 at auction.
Thirty-four registered bidders gathered at the Benton Central High School cafeteria for the auction offering of six tracts, which resulted in prices that topped out at $10,640 per acre on tillable land. Benton County is halfway between Gary and Indianapolis on the border with Illinois.
"If there's weakness in farmland prices, we certainly haven't seen any sign of it in Benton County, and in truth, we're continuing to see strong competition and prices, said R.D. Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company that managed the sale. "These prices were very good for the soil types, with most of the tillable land selling in two groups of tracts. Approximately 162 acres went for $10,640 per acre, and another 180 acres sold for $10,149 per acre.
He said, "We continue to be in a market where the supply of farmland is tight relative to the demand. That's due in part to the usual seasonal variation, with crops in the field, but the longer term reality is that owners of farmland still don't see a lot of alternative investments that offer the stability and long term returns farmland has provided. As long as that continues to be the case, we'll continue to see good prices for farmland, he said. Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company is based in Columbia City, Ind.