State auctioning surplus farmland at height of market

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The state of Indiana plans to take to auction this week almost 670 acres of prime farmland in Madison County at a time when farmland prices are flourishing.

The land just southwest of Pendleton between Interstate 69 and U.S. 36 is adjacent to the state’s Pendleton Correctional Facility. The State Department of Administration hired Colliers International's auction division to auction the land as part of a sale of surplus state property.

The timing might not get much better for selling the nine tracts, which range from just more than 20 acres to almost 116 acres. The price of top farmland in Indiana rose 25 percent last year, to about $6,500 an acre, according to Purdue University’s farmland value survey.

Farmland prices have been on the rise for five years, dating back to about the time the economy began to sputter. Investors have been drawn to its safe, relatively steady income potential. There’s also relatively little of it for sale, said Craig L. Dobbins, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue.

Even if the state sells its land at the top of the market for farmland, the amount won’t come close to what land in the path of development cost before the recession, which caused a development drought that persists today.

Abbe Hohmann, a senior vice president at Cassidy Turley, recalls that land for single-family home development once sold for seven to 10 times the per-acre price farmland commands today. Prices were even higher for land that could be developed for industrial, office, apartment and retail uses. Pre-recession, Hohmann sold a big-box retail site for $200,000 an acre.

Those prices only applied to land that was clearly in the path of development. Hohmann said the land the state is selling near Pendleton probably wouldn’t have been a hot commodity for development even in better times. One 110-acre tract touches I-69, but access to the site isn’t such that it would have drawn much developer interest, she said.

The auction is set for Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. at the Garden Hotel, 5920 S. Scatterfield Road, Anderson. More information on the auction and the property for sale is available here.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...