Farmland prices in the Midwest continued their upward march last Wednesday as a local farmer paid $4.9 million for 565 acres of land adjacent to Minonk, just north of Bloomington. That comes out to $8,673 per acre.
"For all the conversation about the number of individual and institutional investors purchasing farmland, we continue to see auctions in which local farmers and investors -- who are in the best position to understand the value of the land -- are the high bidders," says Joe Bubon, executive vice president of Murray Wise Associates, which conducted the auction.
Murray Wise, chief executive officer, agrees. "People keep asking how high land prices will go, but that's the wrong question," Wise notes. "The people who have known, farmed and invested in farmland for years understand that the real question is what kind of returns they can achieve as a result of strong worldwide demand for corn, soybeans and other products. I believe we are in the early stages of a major shift in worldwide food consumption habits, especially in China and other Asian nations. As long as that trend remains intact, farmland will be a rock solid investment at today's prices -- and tomorrow's."
Upcoming Murray Wise Associates auctions include acreage in Illinois and Indiana (today), Missouri (Sept. 20) and Illinois (Sept. 21), as well as Ohio (Oct. 25). For additional information about those and other auctions call 800-607-6888 or visit www.murraywiseassociates.com.
Murray Wise Associates is headquartered in Champaign with additional offices in Florida and Iowa. The company also manages farmland assets for individual clients in Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Murray R. Wise was born on February 19, 1949 in Ontario, Canada, the son of Russell and Isabel Wise. His parents operated a grain and livestock farm.
In the farm recession of the mid 1980s, Murray saw opportunities instead of obstacles and developed a number of innovative ideas to involve investors in farmland. At this same time, he purchased the Champaign office of the Sandage Companies and formed Westchester Group, Inc. He also found the time to earn an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois.