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2011 is a record year for used equipment

I thought late 2007 was something. But as strong and record-breaking as auction prices were in November and December of 2007 that time period can't hold a candle to what has happened four years later.

Stated plainly, in 2011, used farm equipment values were the strongest I've ever seen. If it was in real good condition and sold late in 2011, chances are it sold through the roof.

It seems like twice a day I was posting pictures and notes online about another new record price.

So I had to do something different for this column (which I wrote in December). How could I best convey the scope of what I was seeing with all these new record-high auction prices flowing in day after day?

The answer is in the table. It illustrates equipment sold between November 19 and December 3, 2011. This is the most hectic and harried two weeks I can remember.

The chart data is grouped by individual auctions. Note the Date and Area columns. Take a look at how many of the auctions featured multiple record-high or noteworthy prices.

● The December 3 auction in Indiana had five record prices.

● The November 29 auction in Minnesota had three record prices.

● The November 26 sale in Ohio had two record tractor prices.

The three hottest used equipment segments going late in 2011 were tractor, planter, and tillage. Age didn't matter so much as condition.

The first item in the table – a White 271 24-foot disk – sold for $7,000. That's a record price, which is something considering how long White 271s have been around. The same goes for the IHC eight-bottom plow that sold for $6,750. Newer tillage tools were hot, as well. The 2005 DMI 527B disk chisel sold for $23,500. The previous high price on a 527B was $14,900.

A driving force

One force driving rising used values on planters was John Deere shut off new planter orders in early fall 2011. That's why a very nice Deere 1760 eight-row planter sold for $59,000 on December 3. The previous record price of $55,000 on a 1760 12-row on November 21 lasted 12 days.

Note the revolving record price on Deere 4960 tractors. Prior to fall 2011, the record price was $76,500, set in January 1998. Then came a September 8 sale in south-central Minnesota where a 1993 model with 3,156 hours sold for $83,500. That was a new record, though it only lasted until November 19. That's when a 1992 model with 2,750 hours in Ohio went for $86,000. Again that was a new record – but only for one week when a 1993 Deere 4960 with 3,425 hours sold for $87,000, also in Ohio.


Greg Peterson

Machinery Pete

Greg Peterson is publisher of, which tracks auction prices on all types of farm equipment, plus free dealer and upcoming auction listings. A one-year online subscription is $69.95. A one-week subscription is $10. Read more in his weekly column at 800/381-0423 | Twitter:

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