For Sale

Zeman Ranch

$34,000,000 Bassett, NE 10,343± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The highly diversified Zeman Ranch offers a secure investment in 10,343± deeded acres of prime Nebraska farm and ranchland. It is located in Rock County, Nebraska, near Bassett. The ranch includes 5,640± center pivot irrigated acres, with no restricted pumping, supported by the world’s second-largest aquifer, the Ogallala Aquifer, which is a highly valued natural resource underlying nearly all of Nebraska. The balance of over 4,700± acres includes outstanding improvements, lush grass, and hay utilization and crop residue for up to 3,000 cows/calf pairs, and a 2,500 head open air feeding facility, all of which make this an outstanding ranch opportunity or intensive row crop operation.

Just the Facts

  • 10,343± deeded acres
  • 5,640± center pivot irrigated acres
  • 8 miles south of Bassett, NE
  • Excellent cropland yields
  • Current running 2,300 cow/calf pairs
  • Open air feeding facility handles 2,500 head
  • Grassland consists of upland and meadow sub-irrigated acres
  • 51 registered irrigation wells plus 4 stock/domestic wells
  • Extensive operational facilities in good condition
  • 3,600 linear feet of concrete bunks and 24 feeding pens
  • 3,200 sq. ft. 3 bed 3 bath owner’s log home
  • Employee housing, barns, shops and grain storage
  • Abundant big game and upland birds

General Description

The Zeman Ranch is easily accessed on US Highway 183. The land lays largely level to rolling, and ranchland, and cropland yields are excellent. The ranch is a large cattle operation that includes 44 pivots, all diesel-powered. The pivots irrigate approximately 5,640± acres, which includes irrigated pasture, crop, and feed. The ranch also includes an open-air feeding facility, processing facilities, barns, corrals, and way above average improvements including, a highly improved ranch headquarters. The current operation includes 2,300 cow/calf pairs, while the open-air feeding facility utilizes 24 pens and 2,800 feet of bunk space capable of handling 2,500 head. The ranch has excellent winter cattle protection with many mature living shelterbelts of native cottonwoods and cedar trees.  
At one time, all the pivots have been farmed in a row crop rotation. Cover crops have been incorporated into the crop rotation resulting in above-average soil conditions and pushing corn yields to averages of 210-240 bushels, topping out at 302 bushels per acre, while beans average around 70 bushels. Alfalfa will typically produce four to five cuttings per season with yields exceeding seven ton-per-acre. Currently, the ranch operation utilizes cattle manure from local feedlots for natural fertilization and reduced expenses while improving soil health. 

The ranch includes above-average fence across the ranch with more than 50 miles of new five-wire-fence with steel corners and swinging gates that have been installed since 2007. All of the pivots have underground waterlines and stock tanks that make them suitable for summer or winter grazing.

Broker's Comments

This is an extraordinarily diverse property that lies in a reputation area for both crop production and livestock grazing. It is very rare to find an assemblage of this magnitude and diversity being offered for sale. Top management can take advantage of these synergies under the current operating scenario or customize it to be more suitable to the type of operation as desired by the new owner. With the current water situation around the US and with California now publicly trading water shares, this property will secure your water needs for the future. With the increasing talk about carbon sequestration and carbon credits, the owner’s transition from conventional tillage practices to all cover crops and no-till will provide a clear avenue for any future programs relating to carbon credits and income potential. With all the amenities of the ranch and diversification, the new owner has multiple options of operation, from intensive crop rotation to 3,000 cow/calf operation with feeding capabilities.

Learn about the locale


The ranch is located approximately 8 miles south of Bassett, NE on US Highway 183. Bassett is the county seat of Rock County and includes schools, commercial and social amenities, medical services and an airport for small aircraft (Rock County Airport – RBE).


Bassett is on the eastern edge of the Nebraska Sandhills and on the northern edge of Nebraska in a major farming and ranching area. It is blessed with an abundant underground water resource as well as a climate favoring crop and grass production. Bassett livestock may be one of the best markets in the US, selling top quality calves and yearling while offering some the best cows the Sandhills have to offer. 


Annual precipitation for the area is 24 inches, and average snowfall is 39 inches, which usually melts rapidly. The Sandhills region is known for low humidity resulting in cool summertime mornings and evenings. Elevation ranges from 2,300 to 2,550 feet. 

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Pivot Irrigated:  5,640± acres
Meadow / Pasture:  3,200± acres
Corners / Shelter area:  600± acres
Pasture:  736± acres  
Improvements / Roadways:  167± acres 
Total Deeded:  10,343± acres

Deeded Acres: 10,343±
Total Acres: 10,343±

Additional Information

Some of the outstanding photography herein was provided by Dillion Muirhead. (Contact information is available upon request.)


Improvements on the ranch are extensive and all in very good condition. They include a complete set of livestock working facilities, shops, grain storage, 2,500 head open air feeding facility, employee housing, and a highly improved owner’s home. 

At the headquarters, the owner’s home is a 3,200 square foot log home that was built in 2009. The house is one and a half story with heated concrete stained floor, large fireplace, three bedrooms, three baths and a concrete storm shelter. The home is complete with patios, asphalt drive between office and house, and a two-car garage. 

Outbuildings include a 6,000 square foot metal shop/horse barn and a bunkhouse/meeting room/bar area with bathrooms, refrigerator, dishwasher and range/cooler. An additional there is a 3,360 square foot pole building with a vet room, state of the art cattle working facilities with hydraulic chute, alleyway, pens, and corrals. A 3,000 square foot metal shop building has overhead doors, heat, walk-in cooler/freezer, and vet room. Also included is a small farrowing house and approximately 5,000 square foot open front used for a finishing building. There is a remodeled house of 1,800 square feet with air, vinyl siding, steel roof, decks, and a four-car detached garage. 

The open-air feeding facility includes 3,600 linear feet of concrete bunks and 24 feeding pens. This also includes a 2,800 square foot pole building used as a vet room and state of the art cattle working facilities with hydraulic chute, alleyway, hydraulic gates, and above-average livestock sorting pens and corrals. Plus, a 2,400 square foot insulated shop, 3,000 square foot machine shed, and approximately 180,000-bushel grain storage utilizing several grain bins, bulk bins and harvester. This site also includes an 18,000 square foot concrete wall bunker silage pit and a 10,900 square foot bunker type structure with a canvas-type top. There is a 30-ton scale at this site as well. A remodeled cabin/bunkhouse rounds out these improvements.

Water Resources

Located in the Upper Elkhorn and the Middle Niobrara NRD, where no water pumping restrictions are in place, the ranch has 6,040± total certified irrigated acres with 5,640± acres currently under pivot irrigation. There are a total of 51 registered irrigation wells plus four stock/domestic wells. Wells at the pivots are mostly shallow, and most produce over 1,000 gallons per minute. Livestock water is provided from over 50 miles of underground pipeline, and every pasture has well water. The Sandhills have a long track record of a very stable underground water table even with high-capacity irrigation well pumping. The first irrigation wells were drilled in the late 60s and the water tables have not changed at all, with some actually higher now. 

Mineral Rights

All mineral rights owned by seller will transfer to the buyer.


Real estate taxes are estimated to be approximately $164,000.00 per year.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Wildlife Resources

This area of the Sandhills is one of the largest remaining tracts of mid and tallgrass prairie in North America. With the combination of excellent water sources, mature living shelterbelt, crops, alfalfa, native range and expanse of the ranch, wildlife thrive on the ranch. Over the years, many trophy deer have been taken along with some of the area’s best waterfowl hunting. The ranch also has a thriving population of turkeys, pheasants, and upland birds. Nebraska hunting permits are over the counter for the most part, which enhances the opportunity for hunting every year for landowners and nonresidents alike. Hunting and wildlife viewing is the hidden gem of the Zeman Ranch.

Back to Overview

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