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Thousands of acres of Saskatchewan farmland going to auction

High commodity prices fuels action as buyers look beyond drought
Comprising 2,290 acres of farmland north of Regina, First Class is one of several large farm properties coming to market this fall as strong commodity prices bringing out buyers and sellers.

“The Big Spread” – a tract comprising 11 parcels totalling 10,137 acres in southeast Saskatchewan near Estevan, is heading to auction on October 17 in a sale managed by

It’s one of the largest sales taking place this fall, underscoring strong pricing as well as the strong appetite for farmland as commodity prices remain high and global demand for food increases.

Starting bids for the Big Spread range from $375,000 to $2.8 million, with purchasers able to come away with more than 2,000 cultivated acres in an area suitable for both row crops and forage crops, access to abundant water and parcels suitable for beef production. Oil and gas development is also prevalent in the region, offering an alternative revenue stream.

“Good farmland is probably in as high a demand as we’ve ever seen,” said Tyler Ruttan, sales direct for “The demand for food in the world is strong and they’re not making any more land.”

The Big Spread may be the largest, but it isn’t the only major offering coming to market this fall. In September, is offering a property dubbed First Class, a collection of 12 parcels totalling 2,290 acres.

Ruttan expects broad demand for the offering, located a half hour east of Regina on the Trans-Canada Highway near Indian Head. Starting bids for each of the 12 parcels range from $400,000 to $980,000.

There’s good interest locally from growers looking to expand, but Ruttan also anticipates buyers from Alberta and Ontario to place bids.

“The land is good enough and it’s a good enough block that it could attract farmers from outside the area,” he says. “With the 90,000 bushels of grain storage on the property, it’s pretty turnkey for somebody that’s farming from another area, whether that’s central Alberta or southern Ontario.”

The location has been fortunate to receive rain this year, unlike the southwest of the province where a seven-year drought has created hardship.

“This particular region did catch some timely rains and looks particularly good,” Ruttan says of First Class. “You need moisture to farm, and you need that to be profitable and feed the world, but farmers don’t buy based on one crop year.”

The current owners of First Class have chosen to sell as part of a generational transition, Ruttan says, creating an opportunity for other farmers.

“Good land is needed,” he said. “We let the buying group decide the price, and that’s where price discovery comes in. It will be quite exciting to see what happens here with First Class.”

According to Farm Credit Canada, strong commodity prices are supporting demand for farmland, especially in Saskatchewan.

Values increased by an average of 14.2 per cent in Saskatchewan last year, the strongest growth in Western Canada.

Properties in the West Central region were among the most valuable, averaging $2,800 an acre, while irrigated crop land was more than double that at $6,800 an acre.

This compares to $28,900 an acre in southwestern Ontario, a value says “may be out of reach of many producers.”