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Holt County Land Deal is Huge

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HOLT COUNTY, NEBRASKA

A group of investors, led by former Atkinson, Nebraska resident Gerard J. Keating, has purchased 16,100 acres of irrigated farmland in Holt County in north-central Nebraska.

The land was sold by the Prudential Life Insurance Co. of America for $18 million.

Investment group purchases 16,100 acres of irrigated farmland.

The transaction represents one of the largest sales of irrigated farmland in the United States in the past year and the largest sale of irrigated farmland in Nebraska since the same land was sold to Prudential in December 1981, said Monty Meusch, vice president of sales with the Omaha-based Farmers National Co., the real estate firm that handled the sale.

Of the 16,100 acres, the investors have resold 12,100 acres and have leased the remaining 4,000, said Keating, who graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1987 with an agri-business degree.

“Our goal is to purchase leased agricultural land and resell it at a profit,” said Keating, whose family has lived in Nebraska for 112 years. “We plan to hold onto some land and lease it while it hopefully increases in value.”

The investors sold 6,700 acres and leased 2,000 acres for potato production by a joint venture, including R.D. Offutt Co. of Fargo, North Dakota, CSS Farms of Minden, Nebraska, and Nonpareil Corp. of Blackfoot, Idaho, Keating said.

A group of 27 local farmers leased another 2,000 acres and purchased 5,400 acres from the investors for production of corn and soybeans, he said.

In addition, the investors purchased 37 center pivot irrigation systems, valued at $1.3 million, from Green Valley Irrigation, an Atkinson, Nebraska, dealer for Valmont Inc.

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