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Talking combines at auction

GREG PETERSON 04/27/2011 @ 3:58pm 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

What I love best about going to auctions? All the great people I get to talk to.

Yesterday (April 26th) I was in southwest Minnesota, just outside of Luverne, MN, to shoot video of a nice farm auction. Now the reason I drove over to cover this sale was the 1990 JD 4455 2WD tractor with only 1,372 "1 owner" hours. Don't see those kind of low hours every day. I wondered how high it would sell?

Well before the major items started to sell, I was walking the lines of equipment and got to visiting with a couple local fellas, Reinerd Bosma and his son Rod. Good guys. We got around to talking about combines. Rod is starting to look for a good JD 9660 STS. I told him his odds of landing a better deal will increase in the coming weeks and months, through summer 2011.


I saw it happen last year from May through August and I think we'll see it again in 2011, quite possibly in a more pronounced way. What exactly? A kind of mini flood of used combines hitting the auction market as dealers work to process down their used inventory levels. We'll see traditional on-site dealer auctions and we'll see an increase of used combines showing up on online auctions from now through the end of summer I think.

Supply and demand at work. More available for sale = "softer" sale prices.

Now this needs to be qualified somewhat. A growing discrepancy I've been seeing here for the past 2-3 months is the very nice used combines have continued to sell for exceptionally high sale prices on farm retirement or estate auctions.

Like the sale I covered yesterday in Luverne, MN.

On the auction yesterday was this 1984 JD 7720 combine (see pic) with 2,604 hours. A nice machine. It sold without heads for $19,250. Pretty strong sale price. See for yourself by clicking on the link below:

My new friend Reinerd told me as we visiting at the sale yesterday he was interested in buying the 7720. I asked what he was thinking of bidding up to. He said $11,000. We both agreed in our thinking it would sell for a higher price. Turns out we were right. Reinerd has been picking up the same vibe I mentioned earlier, how nice used combines have continued to sell for premium prices on farm retirement and estate auctions.

Proof of this trend has been pouring into my office all winter into spring. One that jumps to mind for me is the 1996 JD 9400 combine with 2,274 engine hours sold on a farm auction in west-central New York on April 9, 2011 (see pic). How high did it sell?


Again, that's with no heads, just the box. But key to know that this JD 9400 combine sold on a farm auction with an exceptionally clean line of equipment. Everything sold high. Premium prices paid for premium condition used equipment. Also sold on that west-central New York auction: 1994 JD 7800 MFWD tractor with 5,709 hours for $62,000 and a 1977 JD 4230 tractor with 5,524 hours for $20,250.

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