$11,661/acre in Central Illinois

A March 9 auction of 775 acres in Sangamon County, Ill., brought a total of $9,037,000, or $11,661 per acre, according to Joe Bubon, president of Murray Wise Associates, LLC, Champaign, Ill., which handled the auction. "Investors and operators alike are willing to look past current commodity prices and act on the long-term value of good land," he said.

The offering consisted of nine tracts located west of Springfield, too far west to make development potential a factor. Of the total 775 acres, 740, or 95%, were tillable and extensively tiled. The average PI on the total 775 acres was 139.3 with 147 being maximum per Illinois Bulletin 811.

"We had both farmers and investors competing vigorously for this land, and ultimately, the nine tracts of land were divided among seven bidders. Interest was widespread, with a number of large investors from other areas bidding. This level of competition pushed prices higher than we've seen in a while. We had a 107-acre tract go for $13,879, and an 80-acre tract sold for $13,313 per acre," says Bubon. A tract of 109 acres sold for $12,798 per acre.

More than 200 attended the auction, notes Bubon.