By Connor Lynch
WINCHESTER —Martin Dorie began bidding on a 30-year-old John Deere tractor and figured it was his for $10,000.
It sold at auction for $18,500, just $1,500 shy of its 30-year-old sticker price, said Glengarry dairy farmer Angela Dorie. “The price of used stuff is stupid.”
It was a JD 2350, 61 hp, 2WD with cab, heater and a/c built between 1983 and 1986. She checked the original price online at Tractordata.
Used farm equipment prices are soaring but that doesn’t mean it’s time to spring for new stuff either.
Higher used equipment prices “reflect the price of new,” said Bryan Como, who runs Como Farm Equipment, a new and used farm equipment dealership in Winchester. “New goes up, used goes up.”
New equipment prices are up largely because of a strong U.S. dollar and a weak Canadian loonie. “It’s the perfect storm,” Como said. Higher prices for new equipment also mean that farmers aren’t trading in as much good used stuff and shrinking the supply of used equipment.
“(Farmers) are still spending the same money as five years ago, but now they’re getting a used tractor instead of a new one,” he said.
The price spike is mostly for smaller equipment, Como said. “The bigger used stuff has actually dropped in price. The big guys want new, so they buy or lease.”
Farmers on the hunt for used equipment are also having a harder time shopping around before making a decision. “I’m selling corn planters now for next year, good stuff, because they know it’s hard to come by,” Como said.
Peter Chase, who runs Chase Enterprises, a used equipment dealership in Seeley’s Bay, thinks there’s another trend driving used equipment demand.
“Some of these farmers, the older guys, are looking for good quality, used, old-school tractors without computers,” he said.
And Como said that things are worse at auction. “When a good farm auction comes up with good equipment, the sky’s the limit.”
Ingelside auctioneer Peter Ross said demand for used equipment started early. “Our phones were ringing in January. People were looking for good, used machinery.”
The biggest demand is for “good, clean machinery, good clean four-wheel drive loader tractors. Good, clean tillage equipment,” Ross said. “I sold a combine in the spring. Everyone had it pegged at $60,000. The combine brought $76,500. It was a John Deere 9510. It was wicked, wicked clean.”
He said he also sold a used disc for $32,000 and brand new 10 years ago it would have sold for $40,000.
“A new one today is $60,000. The good used has become a practical alternative to the high-priced new.”