Low corn prices weren’t enough to dampen demand for a 224-acre farm in Mower County, Minn., a county on the southern edge of the state bordering with Iowa. The farm sold for $2.08 million, or $9,285 per acre, in an auction March 12.

The auction drew a full house that included investors and local farmers who engaged in a spirited competition for the three tracts making up the farm, reported the auction organizers, Murray Wise Associates (MWA).

“It helped that this was one of the better farms in the area, with good soils and tiling, but it really was a strong result,” said MWA’s John Kirkpatrick. “Two of our three buyers were investors—one from Oregon and the other from Arizona. While we did have a farmer purchase one of the tracts, the investors were really the biggest force in the room today. That runs counter to what a lot of people might have expected. Farmers have been buying most land offered at auction lately, and conventional wisdom has been that this trend would continue.”

Earlier in the week, company CEO Murray Wise in a presentation at a conference sponsored by WILLag.org noted that higher quality land is holding its value better in the current market than many people might think. “The Minnesota auction definitely supports my assertion that we have a tiered market right now, with much more stability—and in some cases even some price increases—in the better land,” Wise said.