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Red harvesters break records


If I were to try to give you a snapshot of the used equipment market in late summer and early fall 2011, I'd pick a farm estate sale that took place September 2 in east-central Illinois. The sale was by my auctioneer friend, Bill Kruse, and it took place just outside of Farmer City, Illinois.

There was a very nice line of well-kept equipment on this auction. Throughout the summer I'd been seeing used farm equipment values steadily strengthen and rise across most all segments of the equipment market. This auction offered proof.

The lead tractor on this sale was a 2005 Case IH Model STX325 four-wheel drive with 1,506 hours. It sold for the highest auction price I've ever seen on an STX325. It went for $119,000.

That price slipped past the previous record-high auction sale price of $116,500 paid on a March 6, 2011, farm auction in east-central South Dakota for a 2006 model with 2,750 hours. Used four-wheel-drive tractors, in good condition, no matter their age, have gone up in value since summer 2010.

Another tractor on the Farmer City auction was a 1995 Case IH 7220 with 2,728 hours. Also in good condition, it sold for $54,000, making it the fourth highest price I've seen on a two-wheel-drive 7220.

The trend toward rising values on used tractors held with an older model on this same auction. A 1966 IHC 706 diesel with dual PTO and 2,977 hours went for $8,800. That's the fourth highest auction sale price I've seen in the last 15-plus years on an IHC 706. And I've seen 303 Model 706s sell during that time.

What about combines?

That September auction in severely dry east-central Illinois featured a nice 2005 Case IH 2366 combine with 1,096 engine hours (866 separator hours). Sale price clocked in at $116,000. Once again, that is the fourth highest auction price I've ever seen on that make and model.

Check out the table at left showing auction sale prices on Case IH 2366s the last few years.

There are a couple of interesting data points to note. First, notice in red the high price of $130,000. Look at the date it sold – November 21, 2010, in east-central Iowa. I've written often about how mid-November through late December auctions have tended to produce some of the highest sale prices the last seven years. This trend has only become more pronounced since 2007.

My predictions for late 2011 auctions

I see more of the same. Remember when commodity prices first surged significantly higher in November 2007? Since that time, my records show seven Case IH 2366s sold for $100,000+. From January 1999 to October 2007, only four sold for $100,000+.

Here's more proof of strong used equipment values from the Farmer City auction:

● A Case IH 200 Tigermate 40-foot field cultivator set a record-high auction price of $40,750.

What about Sunflower disks?

Auctioneer Bill Kruse had another farm auction on August 25, 2011. On that sale, he sold six DMI E280 gravity wagons. Kruse didn't sell them choice. The sale prices on those wagons were $1,575, $1,575, $1,700, $1,775, $1,950,and $2,050. ●

● A 2005 Deere 1760 12-row front-fold planter sold for $36,250. That is the fourth highest price I've seen on a Deere 1760 12-row.

● A 2002 Farm King Model 1080 60-foot, 10-inch-diameter PTO auger with swing-away hopper sold for $5,400 – a new record-high sale price. The previous high sale price on such an auger was $5,000 on an April 20, 2007, farm auction in east-central Saskatchewan, Canada.

A good used piece of farm equipment in late 2011 is certainly worth more than it was two, five, 10, or 15 years ago. You can bank on that.

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