Farmland Investment Boom Increases Liquidity for Investors

CHAMPAIGN, IL--(Marketwire - Aug 1, 2011) - An overlooked result of today's vibrant farmland market is that agricultural land now has more liquidity than ever, according to land expert Murray Wise. And that, he said, is enticing more owners to sell land they currently own and -- in some cases -- buy other farms to fine-tune their land portfolios for the long run.

"Farmland has always been a long-term investment, and it probably always will be. But because agricultural land has become an important component of many investment funds and individual portfolios, there is now a ready market made up of local farmers and outside investors alike," said Wise, CEO of Murray Wise Associates LLC. "This makes it possible to diversify a farmland portfolio by region, crop, quality and other criteria."

And even though recent prices on agricultural land have raised some eyebrows, demand continues to strengthen. Investors and farmers frequently square off in Murray Wise Associates auctions of agricultural land, especially when the land is offered in tracts.

"We're seeing this pull-and-tug between local farmers and investors in most of our auctions. We will offer a larger property in relatively small tracts so that different types of bidders can compete on an equal footing. Often, you'll have a few investors bidding for the land as an entirety, or perhaps in a few large combinations of tracts. On the other side of the competition are farmers who seek to add it to land they are already farming. Since their own operations have been very profitable for a number of years, farmers have a great deal of capacity to bid. All of this adds up to a marketplace in which there is a ready demand for agricultural land," said Wise.

It also adds up to a growing demand for auctions, Wise said. In fact, Murray Wise Associates is gearing up for a series of August and September auctions in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri for a group of landowners that are making adjustments to their land portfolios.

"We'll be selling more than 6,000 acres of agricultural land, starting on August 23 with seven auctions over a four-week period for multiple investors who remain committed to agriculture but are taking advantage of the current market to make portfolio adjustments," said Joe Bubon, executive vice president. According to Bubon, project manager for the upcoming auctions, the lineup includes property in Jasper and Newton counties, Ind.; Texas County, Mo., and the Illinois counties of Champaign, Henry, LaSalle, Marshall, McDonough, McLean and Woodford.

Individuals seeking additional information about the upcoming auctions or about the company's operations may visit www.murraywiseassociates.com or call 800-607-6888.

Murray Wise Associates LLC, headquartered in Champaign, Ill., is a leading national agricultural real estate marketing and auction company. The company also manages farmland assets for individual clients in Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.