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Steel Deals: What Is A Row Cultivator and How Much Are They Worth?

Odd Equipment Aside, A Retirement Sale Offers Evidence That High-Horsepower Used Tractors Are Hot Ticket Items.

Unless you flood irrigate fields out west or were born prior to the 1960s, an implement that sold last week would have struck you as an oddity if you had attended the Stratman Retirement Farm Auction near Minden, Nebraska.

During that sale, a 16-row (30-inch spacing) John Deere 855 row cultivator sold for $11,500.

In this super flat area of the High Plains such row cultivators are popular to throw up furrows between rows for flood irrigation. I spent a good amount of time commandeering such as “hiller” in my youth and well recall the embarrassment of inflicting “cultivator blight” on my father’s corn crop – a result of daydreaming while cultivating (in the days before guidance systems).

For a comparison, I searched for similar sized Deere 855 cultivators and found but one machine for sale on a dealer’s lot in Norfolk, Nebraska, for $18,500. 

Of much broader interest was the sale of a Deere 8295R at this same auction. Showing approximately 2,042 hours (no year was listed in the auction bill), the tractor sold with an IVT transmission, ILS front axle suspension, 480/80R50 duals, 20 front weights, and five hydraulic outlets. In other words, this was an ideal planting tractor that would have also come in handy running that row cultivator mentioned above.

The final bid on the 8295R was $166,000.

Remember that number as it’s a sound guide to the value of high-horsepower front-wheel-drive tractors. Late-model machines of this size (the 8295R and 8320R are the two most popular Deere tractors in this horsepower range) are hot right now as farmers, looking to upgrade horsepower but suffering from sticker shock after shopping for brand-new tractors, are shopping for used models.

Also selling at the Stratman auction were two 42-foot grain trailers.

A 2006 Timpte trailer with 66-inch sides, ag hoppers, and a Shurlock tarp went for $19,500.

A 1999 Wilson Pacesetter bought $12,000.

Again, these are solid prices which offer evidence that hopper-bottom trailers are hot ticket items at auctions these days.

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