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Machinery Pete: Grain drill values volatile

Agriculture.com Staff 01/26/2010 @ 8:30am

Amazing how quickly things can change. I recall going to shoot video of a nice small retirement auction in east-central Iowa on September 2, 2009. The corn looked pretty yellow, but more heat was needed. I wondered how the equipment would sell that day given uncertain yields ahead. Turns out, sale prices were very strong.

How about $6,700 for an International 490 32-foot disk? That was the fourth-highest price I had seen on an IHC 490 disk in six years. The auction also featured a 2000 Parker 710 grain cart that sold for $14,000, the second-highest sale price I've seen on such a wagon. And then there was a 2001 Gleaner R62 combine with 1,210 engine hours that sold for $87,000, which is the highest price I've run across on an R62 since January 1996.

Untitled Document September played out with very warm weather. Yield projections burgeoned higher. Then came October with rain and snow, then more rain. As I flipped the calendar through the upcoming auction database on my Machinerypete.com Web site, it showed some very nice farm auctions coming the first week of November.

I've mentioned previously how I think very nice auctions in November and December produce some of the strongest sale prices. But how would one of the latest harvests anyone can remember alter the auction?

That left me wondering how the 2008 Deere 9530 tractor with 960 hours would sell on an upcoming auction in eastern North Dakota. The forecast was for a warm sunny day. Would the crowd be down with so many folks still in the fields? Would a frustrating October have fewer folks feeling in the spending mood for equipment, especially late-model pieces?

Over 20 years, tons of these twists and turns have taken place - and tons more will undoubtedly occur. Some will be weather related, others will involve grain price swings or changes in government policies. No matter what, the equipment will go up for sale, the gavel will fall, and boom, we'll know what a piece of equipment is worth on a particular day in that particular area.

One of the more volatile items on the used farm equipment market has been no-till drills. Sometimes they're hot, other times not.

Untitled Document As a very wet October trudged along, I watched the discussion boards on Agriculture Online® (www.agriculture.com). One post talked about the wet conditions: "One of the downfalls of no-till is soft ground. Good for the crop, but not so good for combines, tractors, and trucks."

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