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What would you give for an eight-row head?

GREG PETERSON Updated: 09/06/2012 @ 10:15am 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

Never been used. I see that comment on auction sale bills a few times a year. Pieces of equipment that were bought new and then sat in the shed never hitting the field. Why?

There could be lots of different reasons. Of course, it is always most interesting to see what these new used pieces of farm equipment wind up selling for. Last August, I covered a farm retirement auction in southeast Minnesota with a tremendous line of late-model equipment, including a 2011 Case IH Model 2608 eight-row corn head that had never been used.

Other specs listed on this corn head included eight-row chopping corn head, down corn augers, ear guard, hydraulic deck plates, field tracker, serial number 676600003.

It wound up selling for $64,500 as you can see in the table (shown left) of auction prices sold over the past year.

Look back through time

I always find it very interesting to compare auction sale prices on similar items back through time, as it can give a feel for the direction of the used market and value trends.

So when I log into my www.machinerypete.com website and dig into the Auction Results database of auction sale prices, I find this bit of information. On July 23, 2009, on a west-central Minnesota farm auction, a 2008 Case IH Model 2608 corn head in like-new condition sold for $58,000.

That Case IH 2608 eight-row chopping corn head was 1 year old when it sold at auction three years ago, and it went for $58,000. This compares to a never-used Model 2608 that sold on the southeast Minnesota farm auction last summer for $64,500.

Another insightful data comparison I like to make is average auction price vs. average dealer advertised price on any given piece of used equipment. This is where the calculator pricing tool in my website comes in real handy.

It crunches the averages, on both auction prices and dealer advertised prices.

Check out the table below showing the average auction price vs. average dealer ad price comparison for 2011. In the far right-hand column, I've listed the percentage ratio. In other words, this is the percent of average dealer advertised price that the average auction price winds up being for each model used corn head.

Six-row heads are hot!

One clear thing jumps out at me when analyzing all this data. Check out the percentage ratios on the later model used six-row corn heads listed in the table below.

This includes a Case IH 2206 and the John Deere 693 (highlighted in red). These are the highest percentage ratios of any of the heads listed at 70.3% (on the 2206) and 73.9% (on the 693).

That just goes to show that good used six-row equipment has been hot lately. And you know this is a real trend if you've been following my blogging and my columns since late 2011, particularly on good used six-row planters.

Here are a couple of examples:

• A White 6100 6R-30 sold on a March sale in northeast Iowa for $20,500.

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