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Machinery Pete: Slice and Dice Data

February 11, 2017

When I was a kid in the 1970s, watching TV after school, the phrase “slice and dice” meant one thing—the Ginsu knife infomercial. The knife could cut through a beer can then finely slice a ripe tomato. Really? I always wondered why anyone would want to slice open an empty beer can. 

Today slice and dice has new meaning for me, particularly since we redesigned the Auction Price Data and Upcoming Auctions sections of Now I take my Ginsu knife to our data with our powerful new search filters. 


For example, in our Auction Price Data section, I can now click on combines and filter data to show the most recent auction prices on 2011 to 2016 models. It’s a quick and easy way to keep tabs on how late-model used combines have been selling for the past couple weeks. Or I can narrow in and look at the recent prices on 2014 John Deere S680 combines with 500 to 800 engine hours sold at consignment auctions. 

Our new search filters also allow you to set parameters for age, horsepower, etc., for a certain type of machinery. Say you want to see how 10-year-old tractors in a certain horsepower range have been selling at auction. That’s what I’ve done in the data table on page 32 to show recent auction prices on 2005 or 2006 tractors with 250 hp to 300 hp.

That’s not all. Our Auction Price Data section includes the following two details to further analyze values:

  • Type of auction. It’s important to know if the machinery sold at a farm, consignment, dealer or online auction.
  • Which auction company hosted the sale. The dealer market is evolving and many firms are using new technologies and methods, such as social media, to reach targeted buyer audiences. The result is stronger prices. 

For example, Steffes Group sold a 2006 AGCO DT240A tractor for $80,000 at a Dec. 21, 2016, farm auction in southeast Minnesota. The auction company has invested tons of time and money in their website and online bidding platform to enhance their marketing reach. Another good example is a 2005 John Deere 8420 tractor with 4,708 hours that sold for $87,000 at a Nov. 29, 2016, absolute dealer auction in southeast Minnesota. The sale attracted more than 1,200 on-site and 600 online bidders. Sullivan Auctioneers has featured online bidding for years, but when an auction is “absolute” buyers take notice. 

This slice of auction data on 10-year-old tractors in the 250 hp to 300 hp range also highlights a trend I’ve been talking about for many years. When used farm equipment in good condition hits the magical 10-year mark, it instantly seems to attract more buyers and the bids tend to go up. It makes sense because the cost of new equipment has continued to increase as well. 

In recent years, the real value buys have been on 3- to 7-year-old equipment in good condition. They’ve depreciated in value at that age, plus there’s been a good supply of late-model equipment on dealer lots. In the past 18 months, though, dealers have intentionally moved excess inventory so supply has dwindled some.



Buy your next piece of used farm equipment from the best online resource. With more than 100,000 listings from dealers across the country, shop at

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