The historic Hanson-Sillasen ranch is located in the western tier of the famed Nebraska Sandhills approximately 12 miles northwest from Arthur, Nebraska or approximately 40 miles north from Ogallala, Nebraska. This ranch had its beginnings with the Sillasen family in 1928 when Jens Sillasen bought lands in 30-20-39 (current day building site of the ranch) containing 615.16 acres for $5,500 or $8.94 per acre. A first mortgage was taken out with Bills and Cline, a real estate investment firm from Lincoln, NE and a second mortgage was taken out with A. Brateen of Brady, NE. Morton Sillasen, presumed to be a relative and perhaps a son or nephew to Jens purchased additional Sillasen holdings in later years.
In 1937 the Sillasen family sold the ranch to Edward P. Meyers, better known as E. P. Meyers, who put together several ranches in the area during his tenure of ownership. Through the years and including present day, this ranch has always been known by the locals as the “Sillasen Ranch” and described by the locals as “arguably the best ranch” in Arthur County, NE.
Arthur County has been further described as having some of the best ranch land in the Nebraska Sandhills possessing large gently rolling hills breaking out into extensive valleys.
The entire ranch is located in Arthur County, Nebraska. The county seat of Arthur County is Arthur, NE. (See attached legal descriptions)
The Sillasen Ranch is comprised of approximately 20,346.83 deeded acres or 32 sections by county record. It is an all contiguous and nearly a “township” blocked unit that supports one center pivot, sub irrigated meadow in the home valley, and excellent pasture in the form of large hills and broad valleys throughout the ranch. The building site located at the home meadows has excellent winter protection. In addition, there are established cedar tree rows well located at the building site that offer additional winter protection for calving. The ranch has been operated by the current ownership for the last 17 years.
The ranch has approximately 49 stock wells in mostly the form of windmills including 3 solar wells and one irrigation well. All the windmills have 8’ motors. The ranch has approximately 24 pastures and lots. All of the ranch is deeded land and has no leased land
The ranch is a combination center pivot irrigated, sub irrigated, and rangeland resource with a typical set of building improvements. Building improvements consist of one older home, currently being lived in, original horse barn, Quonset-shop, two calving barns, one nearly new; and a nearly new portable calving bunkhouse, and excellent steel-pipe corrals with working facilities. Also located at the building site is a 50,000# livestock scale that is current to state annual inspection.
The center pivot is supported by a 9 tower Valley electric center pivot and powered by a 100 HP electric motor with a single phase conversion to three phase REA power. A county maintained asphalt mat road from Arthur runs right to the ranch building site. The county road continues west through the heart of the ranch and on past the west boundary. It is also a rural mail route. This ranch is nearly perfectly blocked, considered to have excellent access and location to schools and markets coupled with rarely equaled ease of management amenities.
HISTORY: The first American/Europeans arrived in what is present day Arthur County from 1867-1890. Some had worked for the Union Pacific Railroad to get a “grub stake” to file a homestead. Some were Texans who found their way north bringing vast herds of cattle with them to ship out to Chicago along points at Ogallala eastward into central Nebraska. Texas outfits such as the XIT, UBI, and the Turkey Tracks found “open range” in parts of the Sandhills and utilized large unfenced tracts of range for a period.
The federal government opened up the region to formal settlement in 1884. By the 1900’s some of the land in McPherson County westward into Arthur County was under the ownership of ranches owned by Buffalo Bill Cody and the North Brothers. The first courthouse in Arthur County was in a covered wagon until 1915. The county seat of Arthur County is Arthur, the only town to this day in the county, was established in 1913 with a federal post office being established in 1914. In 1914 the Arthur State Bank was established, however, failed with the arrival of the Great Depression never to open again.
The Sillasen families were Danish immigrants from primarily the province of Jutland Denmark. They came to America with very little to find opportunity and to make a new life for themselves. The first of them came to America in 1882 sailing from Liverpool England, to Boston and then by train and horseback to Nebraska. One of the Sillasens hired out to the John Bratt Company as a cowboy for several years working cattle on the Bratt Company holdings. Cattle carrying the John Bratt brand ran from an area of what is now present day Imperial, NE up to the Birdwood and Dismal Rivers in the Sandhills.
Jens and later Morton Sillasen started putting together their ranch that still carries their name to this day in 1928. They sold out to E.P Meyers in 1937 having survived the worst of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Present day, the ranch has been owned/leased by the Steve Hanson Family for approximately 17 years.
NEBRASKA SANDHILLS: The Hanson-Sillasen ranch is located in the western region of the famed Nebraska Sandhills, known for one of the finest cattle producing regions in the United States. The Sandhills of Nebraska is the Nation’s largest undisturbed native grassland area. It covers approximately 13 million acres in 20 counties located in the north central part of the state. The grasses are vigorous and nutritious and have proven themselves as drought tolerant species centuries ago by supporting vast herds of Buffalo prior to the arrival of the white man.
OGALLALA AQUIFER: The Sandhills of Nebraska also sits on top of the largest fresh water aquifer in the continental U.S. Known as the Ogallala or High Plains Aquifer, it supports fresh water bearing material where this ranch is located in the range of 600’-800’ in depth. Stock wells and irrigation wells are generally considered shallow and abundant by comparison to other cattle producing regions in other states. Most of the stock wells on this ranch are 1-3 rods deep and in most cases can be pulled by hand to change leathers
IRRIGATION WELL DATA – CENTER PIVOT
Well Registration – G-036745
Well ID – 43882
Well Depth – 377 feet
Static Water Level – 7 feet
Pumping Level – 50 feet
GPM – 2902
TPNRD – CIAs – 189.733
Owner – Steve D. and Susan K. Hanson
RAINFALL: The rainfall belt in the area and location of this ranch ranges from 16”-19” per year with the majority of it falling during the grass growing season. It is generally considered consistent and reliable to the extent that cattle sell downs because drought are rare.
MARKETS: The ranch is located within an hour’s drive to one of the most established livestock auction barns in the state at Ogallala, Nebraska. Thousands of reputation cattle pass through it gates annually in the form of special stock cow, bred heifer, yearling, and calf sales throughout the year. Buyers from several states are always on hand to create a consistent, top-end market for all classes of cattle. There are also video auction markets available that are nationwide in scope.
ECONOMIES OF SCALE: This ranch is considered large enough to support a typical sized family along with some day help, but would also make an excellent investor investment opportunity. The ranch could easily be rented out to qualified people.
MINERALS: The current ownership will convey all the owned minerals.
EXCHANGES: The current ownership will cooperate with 1031 exchanges.
APPROACH TO MANAGEMENT, AND REVENUE: The Hanson-Sillasen ranch has been in an owner-operator posture for approximately 17 years with the Steve Hanson family. The windmills and fences have been maintained and are considered to be in good to average condition. In the analysis grazing has also been the predominant use along with the haying of the meadows and the haying/grazing of the center pivot site. The center pivot is currently planted to select domestic seeded grasses. For good production these grasses would typically be fertilized each spring with at least 100# of nitrogen for good production. Management plays a key role relative to the AUMs of productivity from the center pivot site.
The ranch contains four sub irrigated meadow/marsh sites, which have been routinely hayed each summer to produce a limited supply of hay primarily utilized during calving time.
The ranch resource has been analyzed for estimated carrying capacity relative to time, use and balance under what would be a typical use in a landlord posture. What follows are the ranch estimates of deeded acres and current real estate taxes; as well as estimates of land classes, carrying capacity, and AUMs of productivity under typical/average use.
The ranch has been evaluated for annual carrying capacity as well as an estimate of landlord revenue generation on a summer grazing basis utilizing cow-calf pairs and selling the landlord share of meadow hay production. The limiting factor on this ranch is winter AUMs.
LAND CLASSIFICATION SUMMARY
Estimated acres by County Record, NRD Record, and Satellite Measurement
Center Pivot Irrigated – Hayed/Grazed 190 acres
Sub Irrigated/Sandy Lowland/Marsh – Hayed/Grazed 610 acres
Sandhill Rangeland -Grazed 19,402 acres
Bldg. Site & Lots 10 acres
Road and Waste 135 acres
Total Estimated Acres by County Record 20,347 acres
Landlord Revenue Estimate
190 acres Center Pivot Irrigated – hayed 285 Ton @ 2.5 AUMs/Ton – 713 AUMs
(190) acres Center Pivot Irrigated – grazed one AUM/Ac – 190 AUMs
610 acres Sub Irrigated/Sandy Lowland/Marsh – hayed – 450 Ton @ 2.5 AUMs/Ton – 1125 AUMs
(610) acres aftermath grazing – 122 AUMs
19,402 acres – grazed 9700 AUMs
20,347 acres – 11,850 AUMs
11,850 AUMs/12 months – 988 AUs or 20 acres/AU Estimated
190 acres hayed 285 Ton @ $60/Ton/2 – $8,550 or $45/ac CE
190 AUMS/1 month/1.5 BWE – 127 pair X 55/Pair $6,985 or $37/ac CE
450 Ton X $60/Ton/2 – $13,500 or $22/acre CE (includes aftermath)
9700 AUMs/5 months/1.5 BWE -1293 air or 15 ac/pair
1293 pair @ $60/pair/month for 5 months – $387,900 or $20/Ac CE
$387,900 Gross Income
$113,294 RE Taxes
$35,000 R & R
$235,606 Net Income, Say $236,000 Net to Landlord
Year Around Carrying Capacity Estimate
1,850/12 Mo – 988 AUs
Winter 1838 AUMs/4 mo – 460 AUs
Spring/Summer/Fall 10,012 AUMs/8 mo -1252 AUs
800 Cows (cow calf, retaining replacements, bulls)
20,347 ac/988AU – 20 ac/AU
20,347 ac/800 Cows – 25 ac/Cow
This is an excellent producing, one of a kind, reputation Sandhill ranch that has been well cared for by the 17 year owner/tenant. This is the third time this ranch has been for sale since it was put together by the Sillasen Family nearly 90 years ago.
Hanson-Sillasen Ranch - Arthur County, NE, USA
Hanson-Sillasen Ranch - Arthur County, NE, USA