As I gave talks to farm groups this winter, I made it a point to stop for a moment and touch on the equipment category where I saw the biggest drop in values from the fourth quarter of 2014 into the early first quarter of 2015. That segment was used 24-row planters.
It was a major ouch if you were a seller. Yet for buyers, there have been a lot of good buys with probable opportunities for even better buys beginning in late spring this year and continuing into early fall. I say this because the underlying problems are the same:
1. Softer commodity prices have large grain farmers in a defensive buying mode.
2. Implement dealers have excess used 24-row models sitting on their lots.
Missed Opportunity? In early February, I gave a talk to a farm group in Menomonie, Wis. Afterward, a young farmer came up to visit. He referenced the slide in my presentation showing five Kinze 3700 24-row planters sold Dec. 19, 2014, at a farm auction in southeast Minnesota. He attended the sale with his brother and saw me shooting video for YouTube. They were the runner-up bidder on a 2013 model (non-central fill) that sold for $71,000. He told me they drove the three hours home kicking themselves for not hanging in there and bidding once or twice more.
When they got home, they relayed they thought they had blown it to their grandfather.
“No, I think we’ll be alright,” he replied. “Our chances for a good buy will go up next year.”
I told the young Wisconsin farmer his grandfather was a wise man and to listen to him.
A couple weeks later, I spoke in Iowa. I asked if anyone had attended that auction.
“Yes, and I bought one of those planters,” a man shouted from the back of the room. He mentioned he bought the very planter those brothers had missed out on, the 2013 model Kinze 3700, to resell it. He listed it for $100,000.
“Now everyone knows what I’ve got in it, Pete,” he shouted from the back, smiling. “How about I sell it to you for $85,000?”
“Ah, gee, I seem to have left my checkbook out in my pickup,” I replied, laughing.
“That’s OK, I’ll wait,” he answered.
Patience Pays Off. Many sellers of 24-row planters have been waiting, waiting and waiting in this soft market. High supply and low buyer demand likely to dictate values on used 24-row planters will continue to slide southward. Just as the young Wisconsin farmer’s grandfather predicted, there will be better buys ahead.
Soft auction values on used 24-row planters will create buying opportunities from late spring into early fall 2015, as Midwest dealers have excess inventory.