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Talking inflation and TLBs

Agriculture.com Staff 02/09/2016 @ 8:39pm

Lot of talk about inflation these days.

As in, with these super high levels of sustained government spending and rising debt, eventually we'll see the inflation monster return. Remember the late 1970s? Eighteen percent interest again? Time will tell.

Of course we've already seen forms of inflation here in the ag economy the last few years. How have land values been doing in your neck of the woods? Bet they haven't exactly been going down since 2007. I don't compile auction prices on land sales like I do for equipment, but I do always try to ask my auctioneer contacts around the country what ground has been going for in their area.

It sold for how much an acre?


Ditto for used farm equipment. I've been writing about rising used values since mid 2004. I tend not to think of strong or rising used equipment values as being related to inflation per say. A mix of factors at play. But the bottom line is that, generally speaking, used equipment in good condition has been getting older, but is worth the same or more money than it was worth three, five or seven years ago, so I guess that's inflation.

Of course, there are always exceptions.

Used construction equipment for example. The brakes were applied to the building industry back in 2008. Something about a housing bubble as I recall. The Great Recession ensued and now we're all watching the second and third waves roll ashore.

How's the budget looking in your state these days?

Not so pretty here in Minnesota where I live, or in any other state from what I can tell. Revenues are down across the board. So what do you suppose happened to building projects and construction jobs? They're put off. Guess what type of equipment I've been seeing show up in gobs at auction the last 18 months?

Used construction equipment.

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That's right. I track auction prices on construction equipment and have for 20+ years. In fact, I have 12,517 sale prices at my Web site Machinerypete.com under the "CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT" category. What I find most interesting is to take a particular item and track it back through time. What was it worth 10 years ago? Five years ago? Today?

Or take a model series. What is the 25-year-old model worth today? How about the 15-year-old version compared to the five-year-old model?

Below I've listed links to seven Case 580 Tractor/Loader/Backhoe (TLB) models. Click on the links to view the auction sale price data I've compiled on each over the last decade. Start with the older 580Bs and 580Cs and work your way up to the newer 580Ls and 580Ms.

See for yourself what they're worth now versus two, three, five or 10 years ago.

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