LANCASTER - The auction of 2,050 acres of high-quality farmland in Grant County drew a standing-room-only crowd Wednesday, March 28, resulting in a purchase price of $17,621,800. Steffes Group marketed the property and conducted the auction.

The event attracted 130 registered bidders and more than 350 people to the Grant County Fairgrounds Youth & Agriculture Center. Bidders came from five different states to compete for the land.

"There had been very little land auctioned in the Grant County area in the last couple of years, so a lot of people were watching this closely for signs of how strong the land market is. We got a clear answer to that question, with more than half the land selling for more than $8,500 per acre and a number of tracts exceeding $9,000," said Steffes representative Ashley Huhn. 

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"We seemed to be seeing several factors. There was some pent-up demand, to be sure. But some investors may also be seeking the steady returns of quality farmland in light of the volatility we are seeing in financial markets," said Huhn.

The two-hour auction featured active bidding by both investors and operators. Approximately 40 percent of the land sold to investors. Most of the land was tillable, but the auction also included a modern cattle feeding facility, four confinement hog finishing units, three residences and some recreational land. 

Steffes Group, Inc., is headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, with additional locations in Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota.

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