- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

OGALLALA, Neb. (AP) - One of Nebraska’s largest farms will be up for auction later this week.

The Thomas Land Co. holds 28,645 acres of ranch and farmland that overlooks Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska, the Omaha World-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/2gMDXh3 ).

The auction has drawn interest from more than 500 people already. Scott Shuman with Hall and Hall Auctions in Eaton, Colorado, says he expects the bidders to be a mix of farmers, ranchers and investors.

The farm consists of a ranch operation, irrigated farmland and non-irrigated land. Each one of those segments is big enough to stand alone.

“It is very rare to find an assemblage of this magnitude and diversity being offered for sale,” he said. “This is a place to invest capital and enjoy the stability and the certainty that land offers.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show that the average Nebraska farm has about 920 acres although ranches in the western half of the state tend to be significantly larger. About 49,100 farm and ranches are in the state.

The roughly 45 square miles of land along U.S. 26 is for sale because Michael Thomas died in 2015 at age 74. He had assembled the property after he and his wife spent several years developing hotels and coastal land while living in Miami Beach, Florida. Thomas grew up in western Nebraska and graduated from Ogallala High School in 1958.

The operation includes parcels of land scattered across Keith, Deuel and Perkins counties.

The land will be broken into 50 different pieces that range in size from 10 acres to more than 5,000 acres. The major crops grown on the land are winter wheat and dryland corn.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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