The farm equipment market is crazy, especially these 2021 used tractors values. Stories of empty dealer lots and long lead times for new equipment abound. Used equipment supply is also tight. This has been causing prices to soar, but not equally across all categories. This is especially true in 2021 for tractors and combines, which we broke down in our post last month. In this Tractor Zoom analysis we lift up the hood on a couple different tractor horsepower categories. Continue reading to see how the demand has been affecting the auction values.
Utility & Loader Tractor Values
We start our analysis with smaller farm tractors ranging between 40 to 99 horsepower. This utility tractor may not be the strongest on the farm, but it typically gets the grunt work done. In resale values, this category gets to flex it’s muscle with the strongest year over year auction value increase of any other horsepower tractor category. Data summarized below includes 40-99 HP tractors sold at auction for greater than $1K. June ’21 average sale price was over $12K. This is 45% above June ’20, and almost 100% higher than June ’19.
Row Crop Tractor Values
When looking at 2021 used tractor values, you cannot ignore the highly sought-after row crop tractor. Front wheel drive tractors sold at auction with more than 175 HP comprise this category. In a break from the smaller tractor trend, used row crop tractor average auction values are closer to flat year over year. The exception to this trend was seen in February when a number of low-hour machines were brought to market. This scenario is a great depiction of how desirable row crop tractors with few hours actually are. In January the average machine hours were 5K, followed by only 3.6K in February, and then back to 5.6K in March. The corresponding average auction values for those three months were $80K, $120K, then $83K.
The significant trend that the average prices or hours do not show is the shrinking supply of low-hour engines. Tractor Zoom is continually adding new auction partners to our community. This historically has almost always resulted in a growing database of equipment from month to month. Tractor Zoom’s coverage of the US ag auction market continues to expand, currently covering over 70% of all US farm auctions. Yet, for the first time ever, our monthly supply of row crop tractors has been lower year over year for two consecutive months.
Evaluating Future Values
Used tractor values still have time to surprise us in 2021. The biggest indicators will likely fall in August and December. If farmers need a new tractor for harvest, they will pay top dollar. At almost $6 corn, you cannot risk leaving that crop in the field. In December most farmers will likely have more revenue from grain than they’ve had in some time. Purchasing new equipment will help offset some of this newly found cash. Perhaps even paying a bit more for that low-hour tractor at auction? If you are interested in gaining access to fast and accurate used equipment values, reach out here and we’ll be happy to jump on a call.
Used combine values are a big concern for many this year. This is especially true going into the high demand August market with a tight supply of farm equipment. Just last week we saw a significant sale with Sullivan’s AHW dealer auction on June 15th. The listing was heavy with harvesting combines, draper heads, plus a few late model tractors and sprayers. This auction provides a great look at the market’s direction when analyzed with our Iron Comps database.
With over 60 lots of AHW’s equipment sold, we chose just a few significant pieces to test against the current trendline. Used combine values may be the most intriguing for dealers to look at now so they can gauge what the market may look like in August during prime selling season. For those interested in tractors, headers, and self-propelled sprayers, I’ll be diving into those in some upcoming analysis. The good mix of both Hagie and Case make for a nice brand comparison of sprayers!
Harvester sales at this Sullivan auction ranged from $61,000 for a 15 year old Case-IH 2377, to a 2018 John Deere S780 2WD valued at $288,000. In addition to studying these bookends, a 2017 S680 4WD was analyzed. It has relatively low hours and some bells and whistles worth looking at.
The 15 year old Case 2377 may temper an overly bullish outlook on this market. With just over 2,000K separator hours, this would have justified $55,000 based on the Separator Hours vs Price graph which trends 2019 and 2020 values shown below.
If you caught our 5 Trends for Equipment Dealers webinar last month, you will recall that used combine values had not yet seen the post-pandemic bump that tractors have been experiencing. Some of this delay may be due to the void of late-model machines on the market. This theory was tested with a relatively young 2018 John Deere S780 at the AHW auction, which brought the top combine value of $288,000. We will dive into that next.
John Deere S780
The entire auctioneers description for this S780 is as follows:
2018 John Deere S780 2wd combine, ProDrive trans., ContourMaster feederhouse w/CommandTouch 5 spd. drive & hyd. fore/aft, 28.5′ unload auger, PowerFold bin extension, chopper, PowerCast tailboard, Active Yield, 650/85R38 drive tires and duals, 750/65R26 steer tires, LED lights, premium cab, 10″ display w/AutoTrac, Turn Automation, Data Sync, Implement Guidance, In-Field Data Sharing, Machine Sync, RowSense & Section Control activations, 899 eng./640 sep. hours, SN 1H0S780SJJ0801614
Our Tractor Zoom database has a significant number of these S780 for a quality comparison. In the bottom bar graph below you can see a slight year over year average price increase in the S780 values. Because of all the variables in play we need to look at closer comparables to truly judge market movement. In the top graph, the orange square represents where this AHW combine ranks in terms of separator hours and sale price.
Our AHW S780 is on the top end of expected values for its hours when compared to the past three years. High, but certainly not an outlier. Below we drill down even further into a look at two specific comparables. The first screenshot of Iron Comps Auction Results surfaces the most recent sale dates and closest hours. This view indicates that used combine values may have hit a ceiling.
However this does not indicate the market is reversing by any stretch of the imagination. Below the next image narrows down the search to the two closest sep hour comparables. Both sold in the combine flurry that was last August of 2020.
You can see how much values have risen in just a year. From $249,000 average last year to $288,000 for this auction. A 15% jump!
John Deere S680
We have explored the top and bottom of used combine values in this auction. Approximately a 15% to 10% increase is seen, respectively, over last year. Let’s open it up and see if a mid-hour combine falls somewhere in between. A 2017 John Deere S680 4WD sold for $186,000 with just over 1,000 separator hours. Below is the full auctioneers description:
2017 John Deere S680 4wd combine, ProDrive trans., ContourMaster feederhouse w/CommandTouch 5 spd. drive & hyd. fore/aft, 26′ unload auger, chopper, PowerCast tailboard, bin extension w/tip-ups, 520/Interactive Combine Adjust, ActiveYield, LED lights, premium cab, 1,445 eng./1,071 sep. hours, SN 1H0S680SPG0795113
Comparing our S680 with other 2021 sales, the value is in line with others in the TZ database. A great comparison, pictured below, sold in late March of 2021 at a consignment auction in Minnesota for $200,000.
While this comp does have a refrigerator, the other options are similar and reinforce the theory that 2021 values may have hit a top and stabilized for now.
Iron Comps has the ability to filter by hours and auction type. Using this we can slice data to consist of only S680’s between 900 – 1100 hours sold at dealer auctions. Contrasting these historic equipment values, this AHW combine’s sale price exceeds 2019 and 2020 values by about 30%.
Used Combine Values in 2021
Big movements in used equipment values tend to coincide directionally with significant commodity price changes. With the exception of wheat, current cooling of the corn and soybean markets may be tapping the brakes on the rising used equipment values we have been riding over the past eight months. Another major factor at play will be the necessary demand of combines prior to this fall. Will a tight new and late model supply force prices even higher? Will downward pressure of the grain markets have any effect? To answer these questions keep your Iron Comps app open and your eyes on the most recent sales!
Tractor Zoom is connecting farm equipment auctioneers and buyers faster than ever before. Finding farm equipment at auction has never been so easy.