Cashing In: Van Wert County Farmland Brings Top Dollar

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 22, 2013 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 5:52 PM EDT

VAN WERT COUNTY, Ohio (21ALIVE) --- Hitting the jackpot.

Three tracts of farmland in Van Wert County Ohio recently sold for what may be a record price in that county.

We don't know for sure how the buyer, from The Netherlands, intends to use the 233 acres.

Regardless, it's a sale that might boost the spirits of landowners throughout this area.

The three properties in close proximity sold in total for more than $3.2 million back on October 7th.

The firm hired to auction the properties believes the $14,055 per acre is a record price for farm ground in Van Wert County.

A local farmer was in the bidding for a good while, until the investor from The Netherlands finally pushed the price too high for his liking.

We are told the buyer has a history of operating mink farms, though it’s not clear if that's the plan for this property.

Jerry Ehle says it was expected the land would go for about $9,000 an acre.

" You could hear the murmur start within the crowd as it approached the higher prices, $10,000, $11,000, $12,000 an acre. So it was surprising, but yet in this land market right now, it's just interesting to see where the prices are going to go when it goes to a public auction or open market like that," said Ehle, who is the sale manager for Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company of Fort Wayne.

The three pieces of farmland are located right next to a big wind farm.

Giant wind turbines tower over the ground.

It's very possible expansion of the wind farm could produce income for the buyer of the land.

But Ehle does not believe that's what lured the bidders.

Instead, he says crop prices have been on an upward trend for several years, helping boost land values in general.

Experts forecast lower crop revenues this coming harvest, suggesting softness in future farmland values, but the sellers of the Van Wert County land don’t mind, they will be laughing all the way to the bank.




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