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Big snow and record prices

GREG PETERSON 12/16/2010 @ 11:42am 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

Machinery Pete's Journal: Last 6 Days

Friday, December 10: my good friends at Stock Auction Company in Nebraska having a farm retirement sale. On this auction is a 1988 JD 7720 II combine with only 1,759 engine hours. The combine is in very nice shape. Hmm, I wonder what it will sell for?
   
$37,500, the second highest auction sale price I've seen on a JD 7720 II combine since February 2004. Here's a video clip of the combine as it sold on the auction:



But what's most interesting about this combine is where the auction buyer was from: Washington state. The "quietest" region of the country, by a long shot, in terms of number of machinery auctions in 2010? The Pacific northwest. Just haven't been hardly any sales up there. So, maybe explains why a farmer from Washington state would drive to east-central Nebraska last week to bid and on successfully buy that nice 1988 JD 7720 II combine.
   
More from Friday, December 10: weather reports talking about a possible blizzard blowing into southern Minnesota tonight. I had planned on covering a super late model farm auction on Saturday, December 11th in Fairmont, MN. I call two of my auctioneer contacts working this sale, Kevin Kahler and Dan Pike. They each tell me the sale is a "go" in spite of the weather.
   
So I hightail it out of my home base in Rochester, MN ahead of the storm Friday afternoon and make it down to Fairmont just as the freezing starts to fall about dinner time.
   
Saturday, December 11: For once the weather forecasts prove accurate. A good old fashioned Minnesota blizzard. Snow falling like mad, 30-40 mph wind gusts, temperatures falling throughout the day.
   
Perfect day for a $2 million dollar farm retirement auction.
   
I went through (8) batteries in my pair of handheld video cameras, but came away with the most fun auction footage I've shot in the 16 months I've been posting Youtube auction videos. See for yourself, I posted two videos, one of the 2010 JD 9770 STS combine with 258 engine hours as it sold, and a second video with highlights of the other headliner items on this amazing sale:



Here's the second video clip, with tractors, grain cart, late model manure handling equipment and a nice pickup:



Tuesday, December 14: I'm scheduled to shove off for Jackson, MI (southeast Michigan) to cover a nice farm estate auction by Sheridan Realty & Auction that I profiled last week, a sale for a 93-year farmer Lawrence Allen who farmed his 320 acres up until he was 91 years old. A really nice line of "1 owner", low hour, well cared for equipment on the dale.
   
But I'm unable to make the trip to lingering effects on travel from the big weekend storm. I'm seriously bummed, but I know the sale tomorrow will be a great one.
   
Wednesday, December 15: I was right, it was a great sale! Check out a few sale price highlights:

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