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A Buyer’s Market is on the Horizon for Planters

November 24, 2023

Let’s rewind to Jan. 20, 2015. We were filming for the “Machinery Pete” TV show at a farm auction in Monroe City, Mo. It was a chilly, gray day, but the bidding was hot.

A 2010 Case IH 6088 combine with 393 engine hours sold for $207,500, which was $8,500 more than the previous high.

When it came time to sell a 2009 John Deere 1790 CCS 12/23 planter, the bidding stalled. I’ll never forget what auctioneer Dan Sullivan said: “Listen, if Walmart has a 20% off sale, we’re all in line for an hour.”

Dan’s line worked. Bidding picked back up and the planter sold for $56,500.

Selling planters at auction in 2014 and 2015 was like pulling teeth without the Novocain. While farm income conditions were tight, the underlying issue with the used planter market was supply — way too much supply.

When the farm economy turned and commodity prices fell in late spring 2013, farm equipment dealers were stuck with a huge level of used planter inventory.

Supply and Demand

Of course, things have been different the past few years. Supply of new and used planters has been the tightest in history. It’s not surprising auction prices for planters are the strongest I’ve ever seen. Seven of the 10 highest auction prices ever have happened in the past 11 months.

Here are a few examples from 2023:

  • 2022 Case IH 2160 36R-20 | Sold for $366,000 at a January auction in Paris, Mo.
  • 2012 John Deere DB60 36R-20 | Sold for $202,500 in March in Waterloo, N.Y.
  • 2009 Kinze 3660 16/31 with Precision Updates | Sold for $170,000 at a February auction in Norwalk, Ohio.


It’s been a tough time for farmers who want to update their planter. Early-order planter programs from manufacturers have been super tight, and dealers are only allotted a precious few to sell.

The used planter market is on fire, but things appear to be changing.  


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