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Used tillage values soar

December 1, 2006: Starbuck, MN (west-central MN) farm auction.

That was the first time I saw a JD 726 mulch finisher sell for more than $30,000 at auction. The 726 sold on that sale was basically brand new, a 2006 model, 38.5' with 5-bar harrow. It sold for $37,000. Everything sold high on that sale, including another tillage item, an IHC 800 12-18 auto reset plow (done 2,000 acres) sold for $32,500.

Used tillage values have definitely risen here the last 3-4 years, especially on items in very good condition. Since July 2010, used tillage values have shot higher again. I see the proof in the form of auction sale prices from around the U.S. and Canada.Take for example, a very nice farm auction held January 11th in Easton, IL (west-central IL). Sanert Auction Service had this sale. Here's a rundown of the tillage items sold on this auction:

  • JD 400 30' rotary hoe, flat fold: $7,100
  • Landoll 7430 26' vertical till tool finisher: $32,500
  • JD 726 33' soil finisher: $30,500
  • JD 630 disk, 25': $10,750
  • DMI 530B disc chisel, 5 shank: $10,100
  • DMI 530 disc chisel, 5 shank: $8,000
  • Great Plains 2200 turbo till, 22', rolling basket: $22,500

What jumps out at you in this sale price list? I know $7,100 for the JD 400 30-foot rotary catches my eye. But also $30,500 for the JD 726 finisher. I checked our web site and found we have compiled (108) auction sale prices on JD 726's. From 1997 until that December 1, 2006 farm sale in west-central Minnesota, none sold for $30,000 or more. Now guess how many I've seen sold for $30K+ since 2008?Nine.Including a 1997 JD 726 finisher (30'9") sold for $38,000 on a July 31, 2010 farm auction in east-central Nebraska. Remember how I said used tillage value began to spike higher last July? Here's proof for you.For perspective, compare that $38,000 sale price to what these similar JD 726 finishers sold for years earlier:

  • 1/04 sale west-central IN: 1998 model, 31', excellent $17,700
  • 2/01 sale west-central IA: 1996 model, 30', good $14,000
  • 1/99 sale east-central NE: 1995 model, 30', excellent $19,700
  • 7/98 sale southeast IA: 1997 model, 30'9", excellent $17,500
  • 8/98 sale northwest IN: 1997 model, 30', excellent $20,000

So when these 30-foot JD 726 finishers were 1-6 years old they were worth $14,000 - $20,000 and now flash forward to today and find they're 13-14 years old and worth twice as much money.

Amazing.And again, it's not just an isolated incident of one particular JD 726 finisher selling high at auction. As I pointed out before, I've seen (9) sell for $30,000 or more at auction since 2008. See for yourself:

This tillage trend not just on green paint, or just on finishers either. I've seen the same rising value trend on CaseIH 496 disks. $13,000 for a 25-foot CaseIH 496 on a January 12, 2001 farm sale in west-central Indiana. $13,000 for a 28.5' 496 disk sold on a November 19, 2010 farm auction in central Iowa.

What do I think we'll see for the rest of 2011 in terms of used tillage values? More of the same would be my guess. To acquire used tillage tools in very good condition, premiums will need to be paid.

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