Steel deals - self-propelled sprayers

Late-model self-propelled sprayers that are 1-3 years old are in tight supply and will give you sticker shock if you find one. And the bells-and-whistles it has directly impacts the price, much more so than the number of hours.

Dave Mowitz is the machinery editor for Successful Farming magazine. He says sprayers in the past used to have a tank, a boom, a cab, and some sort of transmission. The features on these machines have proliferated over the years making it tricky to make comparisons.

"When you’re looking at sprayers, realize that the one that you’re looking at at your dealer’s lot is not necessarily going to be the same one that’s down the road if you’re doing a price comparison. You want to really spend some time to see what comes with that sprayer," says Mowitz. "It’ll explain to you right away, of course, why one sprayer sells for $337,000, for example, and then down the road there will be one for $310,000."

Where do you even begin to start looking for a sprayer that fits your needs? Mowitz recommends visiting websites such as machinefinder.com to whittle down the options. It could save you thousands.

"I want a sprayer that’s 1-5 years old, I want this size boom, I want to look just at sprayers in the Midwest or even in my state. And then, the listings will come up," he says. "You put your age, the sprayer size, you start winnowing out all the sprayers that are out there and you put together your own price guide. And that’s your shopping list right there."