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Even six-row planters break records

GREG PETERSON 12/05/2012 @ 2:30pm Greg Peterson writes "Machinery Pete" column for Successful Farming magazine and appears on the Machinery Show on RFD-TV, talking about trends in the used equipment market

The single piece of used farm equipment that I've compiled the most auction prices on is the John Deere 7000 planter.

On my www.machinerypete.com website, you'll find over 2,000 auction sale prices going back 16 years. It seems like half of the sale price reports involve the ubiquitous 7000 planter. Many of the large consignment, dealer, or online auctions will have several on the block. These 7000s have been around forever, so you'd think they would gradually depreciate in value. That's not the case – especially if they are six-row planter models.

A big part of compiling this price data has been breaking it down, looking for emerging patterns, and spotting trends. Sometimes I have to dig deep to ferret out what's going on. Other times it's obvious – like late last summer, when rising values on used six-row planters went through the roof.

Bids take off

Check out the proof in the price data table of various makes and models of six-row planters on the next page. Pay special attention to the Date column, which shows the exact day each planter sold at auction. You'll notice that last August is when prices began to spike on nice used six-row planters.

Pay particular attention to the Deere 7200 six-row, 30-inch planter equipped for dry fertilizer that sold August 13, 2011, on a nice farm retirement auction in southeast Minnesota. It went for $20,500, a new record-high auction price on a six-row 7200.

Note the 7200 listed right above it in the table. This planter sold for $20,000 on a December 3, 2011, auction in northwest Ohio.

Values on nice used six-row planters have soared since August 2011. More proof can be found by looking at the auction sale price in the aggregate. Going back to Deere 7000 planters, look at the table below to see how the value on six-row 7000s have shot up 25.3% since the first seven months of 2011.

So what's the deal?

A huge factor was Deere cutting off the new planter order pipeline late last summer. I saw an immediate reaction in the used market. Smart auctioneers began to advertise on sale bills: “Nice used planter! Where can you find one?”

You couldn't, especially not nice used six-row models, which manufacturers have moved away from to crank out the bigger 12- to 48-row models. In reaction, auction prices shot skyward.

Take, for example, the White 6100 six-row that sold for $20,500 (a new record price) on the March 17, 2012, farm auction in northeast Iowa. There were three new record auction sale prices set on tractors on that sale (an Oliver 2255, an Oliver 1755, and a White 4-180).

But what caught my eye on the sale price report was the White 6100 six-row that went for $20,500. The prior high auction price was $11,500 from 13 years ago.

Last November, I attended a retirement sale in south-central Wisconsin, where a Deere 7000 six-row planter sold for $9,800. That's the highest auction price I've seen on a 7000 six-row since February 1996.

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