- Equipment that can handle more acres and yields is in demand.
- Equipment markets are strong, but availability is tight.
- Prices are going to be good for sellers.
“We’ve sold out of new planters and have seen a lot of good late-model planters move early. Like with other equipment, growers wanting to upgrade their planters should start the process of finding what they want six to eight months out, or even almost a year in advance.”
“Farm equipment that is well maintained is bringing full-auction retail,” says Ron Stock, CEO of Stock Auction Co. and Bigiron.com, equipment handlers out of Columbus and St. Edward, Neb. “Machinery that’s older and in not as good a shape is still bringing a good market price.”
He says many growers want to increase their efficiency through bigger equipment. “Farmers with 12-row planters want to go to 16 or 18 rows,” says Stock. “Those at 18 rows want to go to 24. They’re looking for bigger planters.”
GPS, variable rate application and other more high-tech equipment is in demand, but supplies are squeezed. “Farmers want equipment that will match GPS equipment they may already have or which has good high tech equipment installed,” says Stock. “Mapping and GPS hit about five years. Guys are doing a lot more gridding on their farms. Getting fertilizer right where they want it is important to them. They want equipment that will handle those demands.”
Dewitt says that a horizontal line at about the Missouri Bootheel splits where he sees more demand for GPS. “From here north it’s about 50 percent or less,” he says. “From here south its 70 percent or more because of more level fields and fewer obstructions. But like much equipment, there isn’t as much of that type of equipment available.”
The conservative nature of many farmers plays into when they spring for equipment upgrades. Some note that they’ve seen high prices before and watched them fall faster than they went up, such as in 2008. The added tax deduction incentives likely will loosen up buying at a time when growers are still skeptical of market volatility.
“Generally, farmers are conservative with their money,” says Stock. “They either have money to spend or are trying to save money on taxes.”