Friday, December 30, 2011

Local Farm Sells For $14 Million

The headline news in the county to the south and east of us today is "Local Farm Sells for $14Million. That's big news in Highland County or just about anywhere around here.

I got to know the Steritz family as a young man. The Steritz boys all farmed but David grew the largest farm operation in the region which brought a lot of notarity. The farm lays just south of Lynchburg, Ohio and west of Hillsboro on mostly glacial till of the Illinoian period or what we call crawldad ground.

He was the first I know to use a dozer to pull large homemade tillage tools 40 years ago. Around 12 years ago he wanted a larger farm and traded it for around 10,000 acre on the Mississipi in Arkansas. I have never seen them since and not visited the new farm but others here have. I still buy seed and scout fields on a brother's farm nearby so I get updated now and then.

The firm that made the trade out of West Lafayette, Indiana leased the farm to the Stahl Family in Clermont County. I taught some of the Stahl children and their cousins when I finished my career at Clermont Northeastern.

Names on deeds and who farms the land has really changed here the last 10 years as the last generation passes on to the next. If a large farmer dies and doesn't have a plan for his children or workers to keep farming the operation, the non-farming heirs often turn the asset into cash for other uses.

The recent land price explosion has fueled that to some extent and this farm may seem cheap to you compared to the $20,000 per acre record for 80 acres in Iowa but this isn't Iowa and that is one big chunk of cash. It is rare to read details of the financing like this article but the writer went to the courthouse and looked up public record and reported it.

Many years 30 bushel soybean and 100 bushel corn was all that farm produced but I am sure it has broken 200 bushel corn and 50 bushel beans at the hands of the Stahl's in better years. Yields have steadily risen 40 years with the accepted "bumps in the road." That farm is not all tillable, either and there used to be some pretty rough reclaimed fields on it.

"Somebody farmed it before they got there and somebody is farming it when their gone." The circle of life and farming keeps revolving.


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