Big farmland auctions in March wrapping up a busy winter

By Matt Reese

In spite of any economic woes in the U.S. agricultural economy, auctioneer Matt Bowers has had a blistering schedule this winter, with a couple of big upcoming farm auctions.

Bowers, with Lima-based Dye Real Estate and Land Co., also took some time this winter to put on a mock auction at the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience held in January.

“We love to work with Ohio Farm Bureau and the Young Ag Professionals. We put on a mock auction for them so they can understand the ins and outs for something like a multi-parcel auction that can be very confusing. There’s a lot of math that comes into play and a lot to keep track of,” Bowers said. “In the mock auction, we covered how we come up with  the prices that are on the board from our computer system, so if they’re at these auctions in the future they can figure out where they need to be in terms of bidding. If you don’t understand how an auction works when it is going on, you are not going to want to bid, so it is very important to know how these things work ahead of time. It is also important for us to help educate people who maybe have not purchased land at an auction before.”

Bowers is looking for buyers of all ages and experience levels to consider a couple of farm properties up for auction in March.

“We’ve got right around 100 acres — that’s 98 acres and some change — coming up March 21 west of Bowling Green up there in Wood County. It is a very desirable piece of ground in a competitive agricultural community. It’s offered in three tracts. Tract sizes range from 71 acres down to 10 acres, so there is a little bit of everything,” Bowers said. “The March 28 auction we have is pretty significant. It’s just shy of 350 acres in Hardin County. It has some wind turbine lease money on it and some options for alternate income. That property is in the Roundhead, Ohio area.”

Both properties are primarily agricultural.

“It’s really good farm dirt and that’s the most important thing when we when we talk about these properties,” Bowers said. “We look at the quality of the dirt and the National Commodity Crop Productivity Index, which is basically a rating system on the dirt that goes from zero to 100 and these farms are all in that 70 area, so it’s really good quality. You also have to look at tile in terms of the value as farmland.” 

While both properties have strong agricultural value, Bowers is seeing an increasing number of properties with additional types of value, including these March auction properties. Of course, the alternative energy on the Hardin County property offers significant income potential. Even with higher interest rates and inflation issues, recreational properties are still highly sought after as well.

“Recreational ground is very hot right now. Hunting has become a mainstream thing and it’s important to see the value in the recreational ground coming up if you’re a buyer at auctions,” Bowers said. “There’s definitely value in recreational ground and if you’re not interested in hunting, you can lease it for hunting to increase the value. A hunting lease can very well pay for the taxes on the farm. You’re not going to get rich off it, but every little bit helps. You can figure that into your ROI for the property and maybe that can help you win that farm at the auction. The payments a lot of times for programs like the Conservation Reserve Program also help and they make great habitat for recreational activities like upland bird hunting or turkey hunting, which is increasingly popular. You also need to look at any woodlands on the property in terms of timber value.”

Bowers said that if there are any questions about the specifics of the properties in upcoming auctions to visit or reach out the Dye Real Estate and Land Co. at 567-204-7462.

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