That's how Don Huff, the Marshall attorney representing seller Blaine Murrell McBurney, described the sale price of a 160-acre farm near Malta Bend.
When auctioneer Billy Summers determined that the bidding had stopped, the price stood at $10,700 per acre, a record, by all accounts, for Saline County farmland.
He said from the large crowd of 175-200 people, several raised their hand to bid.
"Probably 12 or 14 different people bid. We probably started at $5,000 or $6,000 and everybody bid. It didn't take long," said Summers, who said there were still several bidders at the end.
The 160-acre tract had been owned by the Murrell family for over 80 years and farmed by the Carter family of Malta Bend for the same amount of years. It is located just a 1/2 mile east of Route N highway in an area once called the "petit saux plains," according to Saline County history.
The 1880's Saline County history book said that the area, now called the "plains" or "flats" by local farmers is "unrivaled in fertility and productiveness by any on this continent."
It still carries that reputation today, according to Summers.
"Everybody knows that land, people all over the state of Missouri, they know that land and we had people there from every surrounding state," he said, adding that people from as far away as Illinois, Iowa and Arkansas were present at the sale. "Some of them were buyers and some of them were curious. Most of them that were there out of state had an interest here. They either owned some land around there close or over in Carroll County."
According to the sale bill, the farm was 99 percent tillable and had a ten year average yield for corn of 206 bushels per acre and 60 bushels per acre for soybeans. In Missouri, the average corn yields are closer to the 150 bushel per acre mark, while Iowa, the nation's largest corn producing state had an average of yield of 168 bushels per acre in 2008, after peaking at 184 bushels per acre in 2004. Saline County, which is usually the first or second, corn producing county in Missouri averaged 164 bushels per acre in 2008.
"People just know that land. That's just a wellknown fact, land like that produces," he added.
Because of the interest they heard prior to the sale, coupled with the land quality, as well as the fact that land in the "plains" rarely sells, he wasn't that surprised by the record price.
"There were a lot of rumors going around, Yeah, we thought it would be pretty close to it," he said. "It's been known for years, that joysilt loam soil there. There is just a small area that is really high productive land. That's the kind of land everybody wants now."
Because of record crop prices, record farmland sales have been taking place all over the nation, especially in high crop producing areas.
An article by the Sioux City Journal recorded a farm sale bringing $10,000 per acre on Feb. 3 in LeMars, Iowa.
According to the article "farmland values have soared to all-time highs, with few signs of peaking yet. In Iowa and eastern Nebraska, average values rose 16 percent and 10 percent, respectively, in the last half of 2010, compared to a year earlier, according to a survey by Farm Credit Services of America, the largest agriculture lender in the two states."
The story states that "some of the nation's most expensive land is found in Northwest Iowa, where a series of post-harvest auctions have netted $9,000 or more per acre. One 80-acre tract in Sioux County brought an eye-popping per-acre price of $13,950 in November."
An article by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) stated that farmland values have risen dramatically across the United States during the past several years. Between 1993 and 2003, inflation-adjusted farmland prices were quite stable, increasing by 3.0 percent per year Since 2004, however, prices have jumped by an average of 11 percent annually.
At $2,350 per acre, across the U.S. average farmland values are more than 20 percent higher than their historic peak of $1,940 recorded in 1981.
"Today, farmland values are rising at a pace reminiscent of the 1970s, raising concerns that another agricultural crisis may occur if land prices decline," according to the FDIC article.
Contact Marcia Gorrell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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