Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stearns County farmland price per acre

Wow - it's hard to believe that January is coming to an end already! It feels like I just celebrated the New Year, but I've been busy with events and meetings for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and my family's farming operation so the month has really flown by.
Earlier this week I came across an interesting article about farmland prices a little closer to home, in Stearns County. In fact, we farm some land in Colfax township, which is right along western Stearns County. Some highlights from the article, written by Kirsti Marohn of the St. Cloud Times, are as follows:
  • The price of farmland in western Stearns County is reaching record levels. Sales for more than $5,000 per acre are becoming more common.
    • In fact, in Raymond Township, the price per acre went up almost $5,000 just in the last 5 years - from an average of $2,241 in 2007 to a sale of 75 acres for $7,224 in 2012.
  • Interestingly, "for the first time in almost two decades, land in western Stearns County is worth more than land on the fringe of the St. Cloud metro" according to Stearns County Assessor Gary Grossinger.
    • According to a local appraiser, recent sales prices have been in the $5,500 and $6,500 range.
  • Many farmers are looking to expand, pushing prices higher and making it harder to find available farmland. And farmers are buying the land - not outside investors. "It’s mainly large corn or sugar beet farmers taking the opportunity to buy adjacent land to expand," according to Mark Koehn, an appraiser for Stearns County who specializes in farmland.
  • Much like the larger economy, there is always an element of uncertainty that casts a shadow on what has been a bright spot in the economy. Agriculture has been very strong for the last couple of years, but everyone knows that could change quickly if prices drop or if supplies outpace demand.

To read the full article, you can go to: 

If you think now would be a good time to sell your farmland, or even just have it appraised to see what the market value looks like right now, please give me a call at 320-894-7528 or e-mail me at and I will help you out!

Noah Hultgren 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Minnesota Land Economics

An interesting source for information on recent sales of farm land is the University of Minnesota's "Minnesota Land Economics" site, which is available here:

From the base page, you can select the jurisdiction you're interested in - in most cases it's most helpful to look at counties, but you might also be interested in watersheds, major river basins, or NASS districts - the specific county (or other geography) you want, and a set of other attributes. This can include years, acres, price per acre, or total sales price. From there, just click on "Generate Report" and you'll get the data you're looking for.

For this blog entry, I looked at Kandiyohi County's farm land sales from 2009, 2010, and 2011, and found a total of 60 sales, with average per acre prices ranging between $2,000 an acre and $6,135 an acre. The maximum price was $7,869 per acre, from a sale in Willmar township in 2011.

If you wanted any help in exploring the Minnesota Land Economics site, give me a call at 320-894-7528 or send me an e-mail at


Noah Hultgren