Machinery Pete: Planter Values Recoup

July 22, 2017 02:14 AM
Planter collage

When I was a kid in the 1970s boxing was big thanks to talented athletes such as Ali, Frazier, Foreman and Sugar Ray. While boxing might not be as popular today, one aspect of the sport will always remain relevant: picking yourself up off the mat.

This message holds true for used planter values. In October 2016, after more than three years of declining and stagnant activity, search traffic for planters on picked up. Since then, I’ve seen stronger auction prices on used planters in good condition. This is a notable change because planter values have been one of the stubborn sectors in the used equipment market.

Let’s take a look at the Machinery Pete “Used Values Index” quarterly report below. In the first half of 2013, used planter values topped out at 7.6 (6.0 is considered a normal/stable value). From there, values went downhill, bottoming out at 5.4 to 5.5 from the third quarter of 2015 through the third quarter of 2016. In the fourth quarter of 2016, there was a noticeable bounce higher to 5.7 and it held there through the first quarter of 2017.

Back to search traffic in the planter category on, which saw a hefty 30.8% increase the first quarter of 2017 versus the fourth quarter of 2016. The top five states with the most searches for used planters have most recently been Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. It’s always interesting to know specifically where buyer demand is coming from.

Check out the accompanying data table below, which highlights the highest auction prices on planters going back to early November 2016 when values started to pick up on the auction market. On Nov. 17, 2016, I attended a farm auction in west-central Minnesota and filmed the bidding activity on several pieces of equipment to post on the Machinery Pete YouTube channel. A 2015 John Deere DB66 36R-22 planter on tracks sold for $220,000, which was a notch higher than I or anyone expected.


More proof of the slightly stronger planter market came from my travels to interview farm equipment dealers for our “On the Road with Machinery Pete” segment on “U.S. Farm Report” TV. In the past couple months, we’ve found dealers humming the same tune: “We’ve had interest from farmers on new planters, and we’ve been moving some used ones too.”

There are also farmers who aren’t interested in trading planters but rather retrofitting their existing unit to squeeze out more efficiency. This trend is evident in the 63% increase in search traffic in the “precision ag” category on in the first quarter of 2017 versus the fourth quarter of 2016.

I’ve been sharing these numbers and trends for more than a quarter century to help you gauge opportunity. We’ll see what transpires the rest of 2017 and beyond, but it looks like the bottom hit for used planter values the third quarter of 2015 through the third quarter of 2016. Slowly we’re seeing dealers work through excess inventory, and there are sure to be planters available on the auction trail as well. With that in mind, opportunities exist to upgrade to a late-model, used planter.  


Buy your next piece of used farm equipment from the best online resource. With more than 100,000 listings from dealers across the country, shop at

Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer