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Machinery Pete: Two Top Planter Trends

July 28, 2016

It’s challenging to write about trends in used planter values because planters vary so much by size. In the past nine months, the most obvious trend is “smaller is hotter.” I’ve seen several very strong auction prices for nice 12-row planters. For example:

  • 2012 Case IH 1250 12R-30 sold for $43,500 at a June 27 farm auction in southwest Minnesota (fifth highest price since December 2012)
  • John Deere 1760 12R-30 sold for $49,000 at a March 5 farm auction in east-central Minnesota (highest auction price this year)
  • John Deere 1760 12R-30, with only 1,000 acres planted, sold for $57,000 at a Nov. 19, 2015, farm auction in northeast Iowa (highest auction price since December 2012)

In the past three years, the two highest auction prices I’ve seen on Case IH 1250 12R-30 planters came from auctions in 2015. A 2012 model from Nebraska sold for $51,752 on Feb. 25, and a 2013 model from Kansas, with 2,000 acres planted, brought $51,500 on Dec. 30.

    This 2012 Case IH 12-row, 30" planter      sold for $43,500 at a June 27, 2016, farm   auction in southwest Minnesota. 

Since it’s difficult to generalize trends in used planter values, the data table below focuses on John Deere 1790 planters. This allows me to show how various size configurations, model years, features and geographies have influenced recent auction prices on used planters.

Six years ago, our auction data started showing what is still one of the biggest issues in the used planter market: the buildup of late-model 24-row or larger planters on dealer lots. It has been harder for dealers to find a second buyer for trade-ins. I saw a 15% to 25% drop on used 24-row planter values in the second half of 2014. Since then the rate of depreciation has slowed to a more expected rate. It might be a good idea to talk to your dealer soon as we’re seeing a spike in the number of searches on several large, late-model used planters at For example, comparing February and March to April and May 2016 search traffic, we saw:

  • Case IH 1245: up 41.4%
  • John Deere DB120: up 37.9%
  • John Deere DB60: up 43.2%
  • Kinze 3700 ASD: up 35%
  • White 8824: up 36.7%

Even with tighter margins, farmers continue to seek to increase efficiencies and yields—and the precision of newer planter models can help them move in that direction.


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