Red-Hot Auction Activity Highlights Quality

October 04, 2019

I will remember August 2019 for a long time. We saw serious economic headwinds, that USDA crop report, trade issues and uncertainty. All those factors lead to growing pessimism and anger. In addition, we saw a tremendous flurry of auction activity late in August. And still, we saw strong prices on good condition used equipment. When times are tough, buyer attention shifts to high-quality used machinery.

Here are a few highlights from August farm auctions:

  • 2012 Case IH 870 11-shank disc ripper; $43,000 (highest auction price in 20 months); Aug. 20 in northeast Wisconsin.
  • 2011 John Deere 9570 STS combine, 740 separator hours; $123,000 (highest auction price in 20 months); Aug. 16 in northeast Iowa.
  • 2011 Mustang 2076 skid steer, 748 hours; $29,000 (record price); Aug. 16 in northeast Iowa.
  • Bobcat T650 skid steer, 527 hours; $46,750 (third-highest price ever); Aug. 24 in southcentral Minnesota.
  • 2013 John Deere 8285R, IVT, ILS, 859 hours, Gold Key, one owner; $187,000 (highest price since December 2014); Aug. 24 in northeast Iowa.
  • 2013 John Deere 8260R, IVT, ILS, 821 hours, Gold Key, one owner; $182,500 (highest price since November 2014); Aug. 24 in northeast Iowa.
  • John Deere S670 combine, 199 separator hours, no heads; $313,082 (a record price, overtaking the prior high of $281,000, which was nearly six years ago); Aug. 23 in southern Ontario.

I heard two comments that stand out to me about the John Deere S670 combine sold in Ontario. The comments perfectly capture the current used farm equipment market.

Comment 1: “Pete, that combine was PERFECT.” Market Truth: Buyers want the best condition used equipment.

Comment 2: “Pete, it would cost 550K Canadian dollars new.” Market Truth: The ever-rising price of new equipment pulls up the value of good used equipment.

Here’s my final market truth: If machinery ain’t in really good condition, it’s dropping in value.

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