Farmers, investors buy VeraSun land

By Kris Bevill | September 15, 2009
Report posted Sept. 16, 2009, at 9:07 a.m. CST

Approximately 1,600 acres of Illinois farm land previously owned by VeraSun Energy Corp. sold for $10.5 million during a Sept. 10 auction. Approximately 487 acres with rail access in Montgomery County was purchased for $3.3 million by five buyers and could possibly be used as a grain terminal location. The remaining acres in Madison County and Vermilion County were purchased by local farmers.

Rex Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate & Auction Co., said the sale was closely watched by area farmers and investors as a barometer of the strength of prices for tillable land. "There was a lot of interest in this sale, not only among those seeking to buy the land, but among those who saw it as a test of the strength we've continued to in the market for tillable farmland," he said. "Even with approximately 1,600 acres selling in one day, the market absorbed it nicely."

VeraSun had purchased the land for ethanol-related purposes prior to its Oct. 2008 bankruptcy filing. The auction was held in an attempt to maximize return for VeraSun's creditors.