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2020 Tractor Sales Update

Although 2020 proved to be a difficult year for many industries, when it came to machinery, 2020 ended in a positive way for auctions and machinery prices. The 2020 market saw a rise in tractors; under 40 horsepower, 40-100 horsepower and 4WD. Here are a few examples:

  • On September 9, 2020, at an auction in Minnesota the sale of a 2013 John Deere 9510R 4WD Tractor with 868 hours brought $209,000.
  • Later that month, in Ohio, a 1990 John Deere 4755 with 4956 hours sold for $55,000.
  • In November, at a Minnesota auction, a 1991 Case IH 7130 with 6056 hours sold for $52,500.

The auction market felt the pressure throughout the year to get those higher values, and they delivered. According to data from Iron Comps by Tractor Zoom, there were more auction sales in 2020 than the previous year. Even with the changes in how auctioneers carried out their business, they were quick to adapt to online auctions and smaller crowds but with similar -- or even higher -- sales.               

What brought on these above average and some record sales? Older tractors in good condition with low hours.

  • These machines are typically lower maintenance.
    • More often than not, farmers are able to fix the issue themselves without having to wait on a technician.
    • They also have fewer complications due to less or simple technology. New technology can be a huge benefit to any operation; but when it breaks down and fails, farmers have to rely on the availability of an equipment dealer and during crunch time, time is everything.

Tractors like these are hard to come by, however. Owners are keeping them around causing demand on the auction market to rise. Lower horsepower tractors, even with higher hours, are also in high demand due to their easier maintenance.

With the cost of new tractors continuing to grow, farmers will continue to look for that diamond in the rough during 2021. The tractor, a little older, low hours and in good to average condition. Whatever the horsepower, these tractors will continue to see a strong market and higher demand.

Optimism, a word not seen much throughout 2020. Third quarter of 2020 started the strong end of the year with increasing sales. This trend has not happened for a few years; due to harvest, sales are typically lower during the third quarter. This carried into the fourth quarter ending the year with strong results. The third and fourth quarters showed improvement on the year and propelled us into 2021 with assurance.

As we head into 2021, the tractor market will continue to be volatile and change with the agricultural industry. With change comes growth and farmers will continue to adapt to their surroundings. We hope to carry the optimism forward and have a strong 2021. I will leave you with one more sale from 2020. A 2011 John Deere 8360R with 1026 hours sold for $189,000 on a September day in Minnesota.

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Senior Chattel Evaluator
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