How did the Irving family get such a good deal on the Brendel Farms Ltd. land?

Talking with farmers in the Bedeque area, I’m hearing that the 2,200 acres of farmland the Irving family acquired from the Gardiner family was “prime” farmland. Prime farmland in the area has been selling for as high as $5,500 per Acre;; one farmer told me a woodlot that had to be cleared recently sold for $4,000 per acre.  I found confirmation that $5,500 was indeed paid for some prime farmland in Prince county in the most recent Farm Credit Corporation (FCC)  Farmland Values Report, covering the period from January 1 to December 31, 2018 (published on April 29, 2019) noting that:

“All regions of Prince Edward Island saw farmland values rise for an average increase of 4.2 per cent in 2018, following a 5.6 per cent increase in 2017.”

The 2018 annual increase for Prince county was much higher than the average for all three counties at 6.7%, with existing pressures likely to drive prices even higher. As the FCC report notes:

“Prince Edward Island’s farmland values were influenced by a number of factors in 2018: consistently strong demand from potato processors that led producers to expand, an influx of new families seeking land in rural areas and a high volume of farmland transactions.”

If a cursory review of a few current offerings of agricultural land in Prince county is any indication, the price-per-acre for prime farmland in Prince County is indeed continuing to rise. A Kijiji ad for a 45 acre parcel is asking for  $292,500.

Prime Farmland in Central PEI

$292,500 divided by 45 is exactly $6,500 per acre.

So here’s the question: with such demand for Prime farmland in Prince county, how is it that the Irving family – and I’m hearing (but have been yet unable to independently confirm) that the Brendel Farm deal also included buildings as well as land – so; how is it that Irving was able to acquire the 2,200 acres for $2,300 per acre?


One comment

  1. Well K I think it is like most deals made here on the Island, what you see on the document is not necessarily the whole deal. When deals like this don’t add up you can bet the tax payers is on the other end to absorb the cost somehow. For example, it is widely held by Prince County residents that the controversial round-about at Grand River, which was met with so much skepticism , had two contracts approved. One for the full completion of the work and another to ensure full payment would be received in the event the new government cancelled the contract.???

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