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Grain carts are hot at auction

GREG PETERSON 05/04/2011 @ 11:00am 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

When I think of rising values on used grain carts, three specific scenes jump to mind.

Scene #1: It's July 16, 2008, and I'm in north-central Iowa. I'm there shooting a farm retirement auction by Ryerson Auction & Realty with the film crew for the Machinery Show on RFD-TV. It's a warm, sunny summer day. On the sale is a 1998 Brent 874 grain cart. We shoot a little segment with me standing by the grain cart explaining how prices have been going up.

The cart sells for $19,750, which is the second highest auction price I've seen on a Brent 874.

Scene #2: I'm in central Iowa on September 2, 2009, covering a farm retirement auction by my friend, Bob Daily, with Daily Auction Company. I get lost on my way down to the sale, so I arrive just as the equipment is starting to sell.

A beautiful red Parker 710 grain cart sells for $14,000. That's the second highest sale price I've documented on Parker 710s.

Scene #3: I'm at an August 24, 2010, farm estate auction in northeast Missouri, being held by Sullivan Auctioneers. A smaller grain cart, a 2006 E-Z Trail 510 in excellent condition, is on this sale.

Standing toward the back of the large crowd, I hear auctioneer Dan Sullivan call out, “Sold! $10,250.” Having studied my auction sale price data that morning, I realize this is the new record-high sale price I've seen on an E-Z Trail 510. The former high price was $8,400.

A guy just to my right in the crowd says he knew the owner, who passed away suddenly. He says the owner had just bought this grain cart five months earlier in a private transaction for $8,500. 

Not five minutes later, I'm approached by the gentleman who bought the E-Z Trail 510 for $10,250. He's beyond happy. He tells me he's been looking for a nice cart this size for a long time with no luck. I congratulate him on his purchase.

Brent carts break records

Brent made 472 grain carts from the early to late 1990s. According to data compiled at Machinerypete.com, from 1996 to 2003 the highest auction sale price documented was $7,750.

Between 2004 and 2007, four Brent carts topped $8,000.

Since 2008, eight Brent carts sold for $10,000 or more. The high auction sale price of $11,100 was at a May 26, 2010, auction in eastern South Dakota.

Do you think he paid too much?

One little fact I didn't mention was that there were six different bidders on that cart. That goes to show these rising prices aren't being paid in a vacuum. Strong forces are at work, and they're pushing up values on the nicest used items.

The price data I compile show the same trend of rising used values the last four to five years on gravity wagons, grain trailers, and augers as well as many other segments of the used farm equipment market.

As you chew on this truth, take a look at the data table on the previous page. It offers information on recent larger grain carts I've seen sell at auction.

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