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Machinery Pete: Record tractor prices

GREG PETERSON 01/13/2011 @ 10:08am 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

Now I know. The answer is $72,000.

Last week in this column I wondered what the 1998 JD 8100 2WD tractor with 1,616 hours would sell for on Moss Auction Team's January 12th farm sale in Dana, IN. It sold yesterday on a cold, wintry day in west-central Indiana for $72,000, making it the highest auction sale price I've seen on a 2WD Deere 8100 tractor.

How did everything else sell on this sale? See for yourself in the video I posted to our Machinery Youtube Video channel late last night:

More record high prices, like that JD 8420 MFWD tractor with 1,432 hours. I found the video of the 8420 selling to be quite interesting. Stalling out, then whoosh...away to another record high sale price.

I highlighted this auction during my talk Monday (Jan. 10th) at the 2011 Ag Connect Expo in Atlanta. This is exactly the kind of sale that has been producing premium sale prices since mid July 2010. The trend accelerated in November and December 2010 with year-end tax buyers pushing the used equipment market.

The really good condition used stuff bringing top dollar.


Apparently the trend has carried over into early 2011. Can't say I'm surprised. One of the points I highlighted in my talk Monday in Atlanta was the role the falling number of machinery auctions has played in the market. I dug through our raw auction data over the past decade and here's what I found:

  • Average No. of machinery auctions per year 2000 - 2003: 3,291
  • Average No. of machinery auctions per year 2007 - 2009: 1,769

That is a 46.2% drop in the number of available machinery auctions from the start of the past decade to the end of the decade. Oh, and let's not to factor in that the first two weeks of January 2011 have been what I'd safely call the "quietest period I've EVER seen" on the machinery auction market in my 21+ years of doing what I do.

Repeat, ever seen.So, a super nice farm sale rolls around like Moss Auction Team's sale yesterday in Dana, IN and sale prices fall on the high side for all that nice, well cared for used equipment.

What else did I learn this past week? A lot. I learned Atlanta doesn't handle snow and ice real well. Hard to scrape it all gone with only 10 plows in the metro area. Downtown Atlanta was eerily quiet and beautiful on Monday and Tuesday. A white Christmas two weeks late.

I also learned it snows in North Carolina. Check out this Youtube video I posted this week from a December 28, 2010 auction in northeast North Carlolina featuring a 2005 Amadas 9960 CDS peanut combine (4WD) with 979 engine hours and a Amada 919-6 header:

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