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Serving: KS
Corn field P.J. Griekspoor
HOLDING STRONG: Values for good-quality cropland are holding strong during a time when the coronavirus lockdown has forced more sales to be conducted in online and telephone bids. Broker say online auctions have been quite successful, drawing multiple bidders.

Land auctions adapt with online, phone bidding

Land brokers have found a way to make sales happen and say values are holding strong.

As real estate professionals continue to work around the social distancing required by the coronavirus pandemic, prices of farmland are holding steady and may even be ticking up a bit from this time last year, according to broker Mark Uhlik with Midwest Land and Home at Washington.

An example was the online auction of 146 acres of irrigated land in Republic County on April 11. The property included 126.5 irrigated acres with the rest in Eastern Gamma Grass pasture. The irrigation is a center pivot on about 46 acres with drip irrigation in six zones on the rest.

Related: Complete coronavirus coverage

The property sold for $4,178 per acre. The sellers were Dale and Danell Strickler.

Decatur and Sheridan counties

In an enormous sale, about 3,600 acres of land in Decatur and Sheridan counties sold at auction in a sale that closed in April. The high quality farmland included 659 acres of irrigated land, 2,125 acres of dryland crop ground and 751 acres of native grass. The irrigated acres were not restricted by the Groundwater Management District No. 4 Local Enhanced Management Area.

The land is located in northeast Sheridan and southeast Decatur counties.

The aggregate sale prices of all tracts were $6,362,740 or $1,767 per acre.

The seller was the Abercrombie Marital Trust. Farmers National Co. handled the sale.

Sherman County

Two tracts of land totaling 640 acres were sold on an online and telephone auction on May 6. Tract 1, about 200 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program brought $1,200 per acre. Tract 2, about 440 acres of grassland, brought $900 per acre.

The seller was the Marie T. Moore Irrevocable Trust. Farm and Ranch Realty at Colby handled the sale.

Wallace County, Kan. and Prowers County, Colo.

An online and telephone auction of 1,050 acres of land in Wallace County, Kan., and Prowers County, Colo., was conducted on April 21.

The land sold in seven tracts. Tract 1, about 264 acres enrolled in CRP, sold for $1,200 while tract 2, about 353 acres also in CRP was bid in at $1,150.

Tract 3, about 150 acres with about 10 acres in cropland and the balance in CRP, brought $1,050. Tract 4, all in native grass, was sold for $1,100 per acre and tract 5, about 320 acres in CRP, sold for $700. Tract 6, also a half-section of CRP, also brought $700 per acre while tract 7, about 490 acres of CRP, sold for $600 per acre.

The sellers were the Ritter Trusts. Farm and Ranch Realty handled the sale.

Ford County

About 162 acres of land in Ford County was sold in an auction that closed in April.

The land was dryland cropland with high quality soils. The property brought $2,150 per acre.

The seller was Rinehart CC and 7 LLC. Farmers National Co. handled the sale.

Washington and Marshall Counties

About 656 acres of land was sold in an online and telephone auction on May 2.

Broker Jeff Dankenbring with Midwest Land and Home says the online bidding continues to be a huge success.

“We had 15 online bidder registration and had bidders on these tracts from five different states,” Dankenbring says.

Tract 1, 310 acres in Washington County, was excellent native grass pasture with two ponds and springs, good perimeter fence and some cross fencing. It set a record high for pasture in Washington County with a sales price of $2,852 per acre.

Tract 2, about 80 acres with 60 acres in cropland, 14 acres in pasture with a large pond and good fence and the remainder in waterways and a hay meadow. That tract brought $4, 177 per acre.

Tract 3, about 267 acres with 177 acres of cropland, 60 acres of pasture with two large ponds, and 26 acres of excellent wildlife habitat with two creeks and old growth trees. That tract sold for $3,345 per acre.

The sellers were the heirs of Emil and Lyla Krause. Midwest Land and Home at Washington handled the sale.

Barton County

About 156 acres of Barton land, 152 acres in dry cropland and the remainder in other uses, was sold by unreserved online auction on April 16. The land was 2.5 miles east and a half mile north of Claflin. It was prime farmland per USDA-NRCS with Harney and Crete silt loam soil and a slope between 0% and 3%. The sale included surface rights only.

The land sold for $1,800 acre. Sellers were Merlin & Darlene Stoss. 

The auction occurred with the Kansas coronavirus stay-at-home order in place. There were 12 online bidders from three states: Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. All bidding was done online by smartphone or computer. Mike Campbell with BigIron Realty handled the sale.

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