Friday, March 31, 2006

Largest ever Canadian farm auction


A crowd estimated at about 4,500 gathered near Stockholm, Sask., 85 km south of Yorkton on March 24 to witness the largest single-owner farmland auction ever held in Canada. Eighty-three quarter sections of land and all the equipment needed to farm it (as well as a large amount of rented land) were sold....

With the amount of land and equipment that was being sold, people came from far and wide," marvelled Peter Kennedy, Manager of Ritchie Brothers Auction, which was consigned to conduct the sale.

Almost 1,700 registered bidders from seven provinces, 11 U.S. states as well as Germany and Italy attended the sale. There was also participation from more than 270 Internet bidders.....

The owner of the property was 45-year-old Don Gillen, who resides in Saskatoon. He had purchased the large amount of land just three years earlier. At the time, Gillen saw an opportunity in agriculture. But after the frost of 2004 and the struggle to take off a crop over such a large area in 2005, Gillen decided the risk was too much.

"After last fall I got thinking the potential of having things go a-miss was quite high. So I thought we have fairly new machinery, the land is in decent condition and may be attractive to others," explained Gillen, regarding his decision to sell out after only three years of operation.....

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