So, Pete, what’s going on in the used planter market? It’s difficult to sum up the category into a generalized statement, so let’s break it down:
More folks looking to buy. Search traffic for planters at www.Machinery Pete.com saw a 106.3% increase in fourth quarter 2017 versus third quarter. That’s the largest jump in any equipment category in fourth quarter.
Stronger auction prices in December 2017. Check out the pair of 2016 John Deere DB66 36R-22 planters in the table on page 30. They both sold for strong prices at farm auctions in northeast South Dakota on Dec. 29.
Configuration matters. Those two 2016 John Deere DB66 planters were loaded. Specs are important to note when assessing used planter values, so check out that column in the table.
Older planter, cheaper price tag, money left to upgrade. Older 24R-30 and 16R-30 planters are a dime a dozen and prices have been depressed for some time. But a cheaper price tag often leaves room in the budget for the buyer to retrofit and upgrade.
Interest in new planters. In these tough economic times, buying a new planter is a difficult decision. In recent travels, I’ve noticed increasing buyer interest in new planters to gain the latest technology. One large farmer/seed dealer we interviewed in northeast Iowa summed it up best. He’d been chewing on the decision to buy a new 16R-30 planter for two years. He finally bit the bullet and bought the planter. “It’s like I have not one new planter but 16 new planters in one,” he says.
Dealers moving used. In February, we spent two days filming TV segments at the Higginsville, Mo., location of Ag Power Inc., a large John Deere dealership. Sales manager Aaron Plattner mentioned they were sold out of their bread and butter used planter, the John Deere 1790 16/31. “We could use a few more of them to sell,” he says. It’s been a while since I’d heard a dealer wishing they had a few more late-model, used planters.
Things change—even difficult markets such as used planters.
Smaller models gain big attention. I saw strong auction prices in early 2018 on four-row planters, including a John Deere 7000 4R-30 that sold for $5,500 at a Feb. 10 farm auction in northeast Ohio. An even older John Deere 1240 four-row corn planter went for $1,400 at a Jan. 20 farm auction in central Ohio, which is the third-highest auction price I’ve seen.
As I said, there are a lot of dynamics at play to recap into one statement.