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Scarcity of land on market props up prices

Land Values: Here are the latest Nebraska land sales in Banner, Gage, Polk and Otoe counties.

April 29, 2024

3 Min Read
Farmland with windmill
NOT MUCH ON MARKET: Scarcity of land on the market is propping up land sale values, says Ron Stock with BigIron Realty in Columbus, Neb. One of the parcels sold recently is a large, historic ranch in Banner County. Curt Arens

by Ron Stock

In spite of lower corn prices and higher interest rates, land is still holding its value. This is probably because there is very little land for sale right now, propping up prices, according to BigIron Realty.

A slight correction of lower land values is expected, but so far, there are no signs of that in the near future.

Based in Columbus, Neb., BigIron, a licensed real estate broker in eight states, compiles the reports each month for this column. However, not all sales are handled by BigIron each month. For more information, call BigIron at 800-887-8625.

The following are a few of the most recent sales in Nebraska, this month all courtesy of BigIron Realty:


Otoe County. A total of 160.67 acres sold at online auction in two tracts. Tract 1 sold for $563,080 and was 80.44 acres. Tract 2 sold for $561,610 and was 80.23 acres. These two highly productive and easy-to-access 80-acre tracts are located directly south of Stagecoach/M Road between Panama and Douglas, Neb.

They consist of excellent soils comprised primarily of Wymore silty clay, with the remainder made up of Nodaway-Colo complex and a small portion of Pawnee clay soils. This farm is gently rolling and terraced. In 2023, the entire half-section, containing 321.96 acres, was planted and certified at 298.6 acres.

The National Resources Conservation Service reports the soil productivity at a healthy 55.9 National Commodity Crop Productivity Index (NCCPI) rating. Average annual mean precipitation is in the highest area of the state at more than 32 inches. The seller reported 2023 production results of 55 bushels per acre for soybeans and 181.5 bpa for corn.

Gage County. A total of 80 acres sold at online auction for $464,000. This tract has been surveyed and platted into four, 19.9-acre parcels, totaling 80 acres. Power lines run down the east side of the property, providing clear access to electricity.  Soils on this farm are mostly comprised of Wymore silty clay loam and Malmo complex, with a NCCPI score of 53.5. The Farm Service Agency reports 76.83 acres of farmland and 67.53 acres of crop ground. It is located just 6½ miles west of Cortland, Neb., and 3 miles from hard-surfaced roads.


Polk County. A total of 79.95 acres sold at online auction for $907,432.50. This productive pivot-irrigated farm is flat and is nearly all Hastings silt loam. Included in the sale was a seven-tower Reinke pivot with recent upgrades, a power unit with generator, gearhead with pump and two fuel barrels.


Banner County. A total of 5,058.36 acres sold at online auction in three tracts as a once-in-a-generation offering of some of Banner County’s most productive grassland. Tract 1 brought $2,159,398 for 2,978.48 acres. Tract 2 went for $1,473,688.50 for 2,039.57 acres. Tract 3 brought $252,500 for 40.31 acres.

This historic 130-plus-year Van Pelt Ranch was established in 1887 by siblings William, Sarah and Cyrus Van Pelt. For the past 67 years, it has been operated and managed by George and Kathleen Van Pelt. This offering has productive soil, and many parcels of the ranch have a history of cropland. But in the late 1990s, it was all seeded back to warm- and cool-season grasses. Numerous parcels of this ranch could be converted to cropland. The ranch also has a "tree claim" history from the late 1800s.

Stock is co-founder of BigIron Auctions and Realty with his brother Mark.

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