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by Randy Dickhut, Senior Vice President - Real Estate Operations, Famers National Co., Omaha, NE

Selling farmland via a competitive bidding process is king right now. Year over year, the number of auction sales handled by Farmers National Company is up 50% and dollar volume is up 75%.

During the strong up move in land prices this past year, the best way to know at any given moment what the market was willing to pay was to sell by some type of auction or competitive bidding. This included Simulcast auctions (simultaneously online and public outcry), traditional public outcry auctions, online-only auctions, and selling by written bids.

Farmers continue to be active buyers of good farmland and purchase the larger share of what comes up for sale. Individual investors also enter the market when they see farmland meeting their investment needs.

As the number of auction sales as a share of overall land sales increases, the share of private treaty listing sales generally declines. When the land market is slower, this trend reverses somewhat as there tend to be fewer auction sales and a few more private treaty listing sales.

High land prices have prompted some landowners to sell and capture the current moment in the trend. September is shaping up to continue the active auction season which will slow during harvest. Post-harvest auction activity should be normal with a lot of attention being paid to the price trend.

To view the upcoming auctions click here.

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