Fund snaps up farmland in big auction

September 15, 2008

An investor pool formed to acquire farmland bought 1,108 of 1,222 acres auctioned near Frankfort on Thursday, according to Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co. Inc., the Columbia City firm that handled the sale.

The average price for all of the land came to $5,171 per acre. That was slightly more than the $5,003 average of prime farmland found in Purdue University's latest survey.

Also bidding was a pension fund and another institutional buyer, said Schrader President Rex Schrader.

Schrader would not disclose names of the institutional buyers.

A group of farmers also formed a block in order to bid, but didn't prevail on any of the 20 tracts.

The auction was one of the largest of prime farmland in recent years. It was prompted by the death of owner Ron Unger, a farmer who started from scratch.

The 1,108 acres more than likely will be leased to a single farmer, Schrader said.
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