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Land market in Wyoming softens as crop, livestock prices slide.

August 7, 2016

2 Min Read

The number of buyers seeking farms and ranches in Wyoming has fallen over the past year, and so has the number of properties on the market, says Paul Schadegg, Wyoming farm manager for Farmers National Co.

Schadegg attributes this to a number of factors, including the drop in grain and livestock prices.

“Some who were thinking about selling may now be waiting for a recovery in the land market, which would hinge, in part, on the recovery of grain and livestock markets,” says Schadegg, an FNC land broker since 2000. Based in Sidney, Neb., he covers the western portion of that state in addition to Wyoming and northeast Colorado.

Schadegg says that ranchland values in Wyoming climbed steadily for about three years as the cattle market increased sharply, but values have since stabilized and, in some cases, even declined slightly since cattle prices peaked in late 2014.

He adds that farmland prices in Wyoming—especially for quality irrigated land—remained fairly stable considering the sharp decline in grain prices, unlike nearby farm states like Nebraska, which saw farmland prices plummet 10% to 15%, especially for lower- to average-quality parcels.

Southeast Wyoming

A 7,254-acre Goshen County ranch along the North Platte River near Fort Laramie sold for $3.5 million, or $482 per acre.

“The place is in good condition with North Platte River frontage, which added to the appeal. It came with both surface water rights and well water for irrigation,” Schadegg says.

The sellers were a long-time local ranch and farm family that reached a point in their lives that they needed to disperse land and ag operations.

Schadegg says the sellers took excellent care of the place and made numerous improvements, including developing springs powered by solar energy. This water fed stock tanks through pipelines. They also installed extensive pasture cross fencing to improve rotational grazing.

Included were a modest home, garage, barn and shop, as well as 1,160 acres of land leased from the State of Wyoming and U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Annual taxes are about $4,850.

The buyers are an eastern Wyoming ranch family wanting to expand operations. They used a combination of cash and loans to fund the deal.

East-central Wyoming

A partnership that owns area ranch lands purchased 600 acres of pasture 20 miles southwest of Douglas as an add-on to their existing operation, says J.R. Kvenild and Roy Ready of Western Land Sales.

The listing price was $1.14 million, or $1,900 per acre (the selling price wasn’t disclosed).

Called the LaPrele Highlands, the pasture offers good grazing for cattle and habitat for wildlife, though the transaction included no improvements.

The seller was an area land investor.

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