Three years passed between the first time Cody Skinner talked to the potential sellers of the Grundy County farmland, to the day the auction was held.
It was worth the wait.
Iowa Land Company, where Skinner works, sold 75.7 acres of farmland at auction August 27 for a whopping $22,600 per acre – a record high for the state of Iowa. And it was all over in a flash.
Like all farmland auctions, there is more to the story, however. Let’s unpack some of the particulars:
This tract – 74.75 acres of tillable land just south of Wellsburg in Grundy County – is all non highly erodible land, with mostly Tama silty clay loam and Sawmill-Garwin soils. The Corn Suitability Rating 2 Index is 90.6. (On a 0-100 scale, 100 is the highest productivity). Therefore, it is a high-quality tract.
When it comes to buying farmland, Grundy County and the Wellsburg area in particular, is extremely competitive, Skinner said in an interview with Successful Farming.  
The tract is home to a wind tower. In 2022, the buyer receives a $21,121.99 windmill easement payment from the Wellsburg Wind Farm. The payment increases 2% per year through 2044, when the final payment is $36,363.01. After 2044, a 25-year extension of the windmill lease is optional.
Suffice to say, there is a lot going on with this tract, which was sold to satisfy a living trust.
“We thought selling at auction was the fairest way to sell a high-quality tract like this one,” says Skinner, who adds that the company deployed its standard 45-day marketing and advertising campaign prior to the sale. Never before has Iowa Land Company received so much interest in a farm.
“We were blown away. We had interest from Connecticut to California, and bidders from a dozen states,” he explains.
On sale day, 30 bidders registered. There were three to four local farmers bidding until the price reached $20,000 per acre; thereafter another three to four non-farmers resumed bidding until the gavel dropped at $22,600. A farmer-investor from the Cedar Rapids area won the bid, using a 1031-Exchange to buy the property. He plans to rent the farm to a local farmer, Skinner says.
“From the starting bid of $8,000 to $22,500, the sale lasted about a minute and a half,” he says.
Click here to see a YouTube video of the auction.
Farmland prices remain hot, and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon, Skinner says. After the results of the Grundy County land sale, more potential sellers are calling Iowa Land Company to test the market. Pent-up demand and strong commodity prices are fueling demand by farmers; meanwhile, more investors are also interested in buying farmland, he adds.
“In the last year we’ve seen more investors becoming buyers than anytime before. People are pulling money out of the stock market to invest in something tangible like farmland,” he explains. “Where we used to see 80% local buyers, anymore it’s 50/50, farmers and investors.”
Will too much supply of available land soften prices? Skinner remains bullish.
“I don’t think so, unless 1,500 to 2,000 acres sells within a 10-mile radius at one time,” he says.

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