Hottest machinery market in 30 years! That’s the assessment of Machinery Pete. And he should know —he’s been on the farm equipment beat for that many years.  In a March 8 report on the Linder Farm Radio network, Peterson commented, “In my 31 years tracking this stuff, we’re now in one of the three highest periods I have ever seen.”

Since 1989, Greg Peterson, known to the industry as Machinery Pete, has compiled more than 500,000 auction prices on used farm and construction equipment sold throughout North America. He has built a network of 1,000 regional auctioneers, 600 ag lenders, 2,000 implement dealers and thousands of farmers throughout the U.S. and Canada.  

Peterson recalls when ethanol fuels took off (mid-November 1907 into early 2008) auction prices just skyrocketed. Later, from December 2012 into March 2013, things exploded again. “That Spring 2013 was the hottest market I’ve ever been a part of. Now, however, Fall 2020 and early 2021 are beginning to rival Spring 2013.  It’s incredible.”

And it matters not what part of U. S. agriculture you are referencing. “Examples are coming in from all over,” said Peterson. “Like last Saturday (March 6) down in Arkansas, one of the softest areas for auction pricing.  A John Deere 8210T track tractor, just under 5600 hours, brought $71,000.  That’s the highest auction price in 16 years on that model.  You go back to an auction at Clara City, Minn. on Nov. 24 for comparable pricing on that tractor.” 

Peterson also noted a Kansas sale  on March 4. An  Apache sprayer generated the highest price in the past seven years. “And March 6 in Ohio we had a John Deere 8110 tractor hit highest price in seven years. Then, 10 days back in Iowa, a John Deere 8400 went for the highest I’ve seen in nine years. Color doesn’t matter, and to some extent neither does type of equipment.  If it’s in good condition, values are just up.”

Peterson lists these key reasons for unprecedented demand: The level of used equipment on dealer lots is down; new equipment inventories are also down; and manufacturers slowed production — wondering how many buyers there would be.

Reflected Peterson, “In this tumultuous pandemic year, who’s going to buy anything? So now you’ve got less new product, less good used (equipment) on the dealer lot. Nobody was forecasting commodity prices to take off like they did last fall. And now everybody wants something. 

“That’s the recipe we’re in right now.  Mix it up and take a number if you want to buy something new from a dealer. And if you want to buy it at auction, get ready to pay more than you thought you would have to.” 

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