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Low-hour tractors = hot sellers right now

I can't wait to see what these two tractors will sell for.

Nothing hotter on the used farm equipment market right now, or for the past six months, than really nice condition low hour tractors with a bit of age on them. I'm talking maybe 10 - 25 years old. The two tractors I'm talking about?


Like I said, nothing hotter than really nice, well cared for, low hour tractors. Record high auction sale prices have been falling like snowflakes on tractors like these. I began to notice the trend last July and the pace of record high sale prices quickened as November and December rolled around.

One of the record high prices to fall in fact, was on JD 8100's (160 HP), made by Deere from 1995-1999. The record-setting JD 8100 was a 1997 model (MFWD) with 1,455 hours. It sold on a farm auction in east-central Nebraska on November 16, 2010. The sale was by my friends Ron and Mark Stock with Stock Auction Company.

It sold for $91,000.


As I was prepping this week for my presentation next Monday afternoon (Jan. 10th) at the Ag Connect Expo in Atlanta, I was pulling together data to highlight this trend of rising values on the very nice condition used tractors. The stats on JD 8100's jumped out at me, the perfect example. Chew on these figures and you'll understand what I mean:

From 1999 - 2007, I saw a total of (6) JD 8100 tractors sold at auction for $70,000 or more. Only (1) went for over $80,000.

From 2008 - 2010, I saw (14) JD 8100's sell for $70,000 or more, including (7) for $80,000 or more and the one I highlighted earlier for $91,000. Check out the facts for yourself, click on the link below to view all (264) auction sale prices I've compiled on JD 8100 tractors sold at auction going all the way back to the year 1996:

Why are tractors like these JD 8100's selling for much more money now than they were 5-10 years ago when they were almost new? Well, farm income is up, that helps. But our answer goes far beyond more money in farmers' pockets. What's happened to the price of new 160 HP tractors? Up, up, up every year. Manufacturers these days don't overproduce new tractors either. A hard lesson learned from the leasing days of the 1990's and early 2000's.

Then factor in what's happened on the used equipment market side of the equation. How many auctions are there around these days? More like how many auctions there aren't. These first two weeks of January could well be the slowest period I've seen in my 21+ years of tracking machinery auctions in terms of the raw number of sales out there.Just aren't any to be found.I crunched some of our internal data we compile at this week on the number of machinery auctions per calendar year. What I found was quite amazing:

  • Avg. no. of machinery auctions per year from 2001 - 2003: 3,291
  • Avg. no. of machinery auctions per year from 2007 - 2009: 1,769

That's a 46.2% drop in number or machinery auctions folks from early last decade to the latter part. When any, repeat any, market becomes about availability, then price becomes secondary. Bottom line? Used equipment values continue to rise.

So now along come two super nice farm auctions, the ones I highlighted above in Indiana Jan. 12th and Nebraska Feb. 10th. Each sale features an incredibly nice, very low hour JD 8100 tractor.

I wonder what will they sell for?

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