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Machinery Pete: Puppies, printers, and patience

Agriculture.com Staff 01/12/2006 @ 9:27am

Patience.

I know, I know, it's a virtue. I've always thought of myself as being a patient kind of guy. Sort of goes along with the Scandinavian roots, all us stoic Norwegians and Swedes up here in Minn-e-so-ta don't ya know.

But the past few months I've found myself rapidly losing patience in a couple of situations. One has to do with a hard to train new puppy, the other with an office printer that has been acting up.

The puppy, she's a sweetheart, but kind of pokey on the uptake in the bladder control department. She's simply decided she prefers to do her business indoors rather than out on the frozen tundra. She's still young; she'll figure things out soon.

The printer? Geez, just so frustrating when you finish a document, click the print button and. . . and. . . nothing. Nada. Then a few moments later sheets of paper start shooting out, blank of course. I'll get the darn thing fixed yet.

On the positive side, at least I've been aware of my lack of patience of late. Prescription? Take a chill pill. So the pup has an accident and/or the printer is on the fritz. End of the world? Nope.

Patience is definitely a virtue buyers are in dire need of currently in the used farm equipment market. Patience needed because, on the one hand, there haven't been a ton of auctions around in December and early January. Patience, on the other hand, because since late November, auction sale prices on all types of equipment have been red hot, across nearly all the U.S.

How hot?

So hot that a 1979 IHC 1086 tractor with 5,125 hours on it sold for $20,500 last Saturday (January 7, 2006) on a small farm auction in northeast Iowa. The same sale featured a 1997 CaseIH 8920 mechanical front-wheel drive tractor with 1,316 hours. It went for $70,000. Check out the accompanying data table of auction sale prices on 8920’s to see just how much higher $70,000 is than any other 8920 we've seen sell the last seven years.

Yep, I said seven years.

Next highest selling 8920 was all the way back in 1999 when we saw a 1997 model with 973 hours sell for $59,500 in south-central Iowa.

Think about that. Last Saturday a nine-year-old 8920 with 1,316 hours sells for $70,000, a whopping $11,500 more than the previous high seller, a two-year-old 8920 with 973 hours sold seven years ago.

Folks in the market to buy used equipment are fighting a two front battle. Where can I find what I'm looking for? And, how much is too much to pay?

One thing I'll say about the auction market. Over the years I've been tracking sale price data, sale prices tend to peak (higher prices) in December and January, maybe on through mid-February, before they, historically, begin to slip as more auctions bunch up from late February through early April.

Maybe patience will pay $$ this year.

Patience.

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