Machinery Pete: Still Going Strong

Auction Prices from January 2019 ( )

We’re 15 months into strong to slightly rising auction prices on used farm equipment in good condition. Yes, that’s right—even during trade wars and tariff headwinds.

For example, a 3-year-old John Deere CS690 cotton stripper with 700 engine hours sold at a northwest Texas farm auction on Jan. 24 for $550,000. I’m not surprised at that strong price given a conversation I had with a southern farm equipment dealer in mid-2018. He told me they had so much local customer demand for a late-model CS690 cotton strippers that had been traded in they had to hold a raffle. The winning pingpong ball won the right to buy the used cotton stripper.

Also on Jan. 24, a pair of 2018 model John Deere S770 combines hit the auction market, the first I’ve seen. They sold for $320,000 (235 engine hours) and $290,000 (249 engine hours) at a farm auction in northeast Arkansas. For perspective, the current average dealer advertised price on those combines is around $344,346. That’s not much of a price difference.

And if we go back to late November 2018, we actually saw a higher auction price for a combine at a farm auction in northwest Illinois. A 2017 John Deere S680 4WD with 147 engine hours sold for $355,000.

On to tractors, a John Deere 8260R with 1,750 hours sold at a farm auction we filmed for “Machinery Pete TV” ( in northeast North Carolina on Jan. 18. The bidding was intense. It sold for $137,000. How’s that stack up? Heading into that sale the average price on the previous 13 John Deere 8260Rs sold at auction, with between 1,000 and 2,000 hours, was $129,446.

Another sign of the strength in the used equipment market is the strong prices in the South, such as the examples from Texas and Arkansas in the table. On Jan. 25, there was a nice farm retirement auction in northwest Tennessee for Darrell Lowery. A  line of red equipment sold for solid prices, such as $80,000 for a Case IH 8120 combine pushing 2,800 engine hours.

Darrell’s text said it all: “Great sale today!” 

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