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Farmland value continues dizzying climb

Demand for farmland is at an all-time high, pushing sales prices up 20 percent, on average, over 2010. Market dynamics indicate there are still more potential buyers than sellers.

Farmers National Company, the nation's leading agricultural services company, reports that demand for farmland is at an all-time high - based on a record number of transactions - pushing sales prices up 20 percent, on average, over 2010.

Strong grain prices and farmland profits are fueling record demand, sales volumes and land prices. These same factors are also resulting in record increases in cash rent levels, according to Jim Farrell, president of Farmers National Company. Cash rents in the top production areas have increased by 25 to 40 percent in 2011, some of the largest jumps the market has ever seen, according to Farrell.

On the real estate side, market dynamics indicate there are still more potential buyers than sellers, with the possibility to push land prices higher. Fiscal year sales at Farmers National Company increased by 17 percent over 2010 transactions. The company sold over $450 million in real estate, with over 750 farm and ranch units.

"Just when we felt we had seen the top in the market, record land prices have been surpassed over and again," said Farrell. "Market factors continue to be ripe for record performance."

Currently farmers still make up 75 percent of buyers, despite continued strong interest from investors. Auction activity has reached a record level, which is boosting sales prices for properties to top dollar. During the last quarter of 2011 alone, Farmers National Company will hold over 70 auctions.

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