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Steel deals - round balers

We’re well into haying season but this is still a good time to buy a late-model used round baler. Dave Mowitz is the machinery editor for Successful Farming magazine. He says their value at auction is at the lowest point of the year, up to a 40% discount, and there is a good supply of two-year old balers sitting on dealer’s lots. Sales of new round balers were strong in 2018 and now some of them are coming in on trade.

"If you find a 2018 or 2019 or 2017 baler with low bales on it and it’s sitting on a dealer’s lot, call him up and start negotiating. He’ll probably want to move it out because he knows he may be sitting on that baler for another 4,5,6 months till December, maybe even longer," says Mowitz. "So, you can get yourself a good deal."

Consider how you want the baler equipped because the number of bells-and-whistles on the machine will affect the value. This includes deluxe net wrap systems, high-profile tires, various precut knife system, and specialty-crop variations such as for silage.

Before you buy, do an inspection of the baler, especially the belts so you have an indication of its usage.

"Balers have bale counters, however, just always double-check the belts for wear. If you’re really kind of concerned about that baler and you think somebody’s been screwing with the bale counter, pull back the belts on the side and look at the carriage bolts inside," he says. "If they’re worn way down, you know that unit’s put out a lot of bales. We’re talking maybe 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 bales."