By Doug Graves
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – New farm equipment is surely to catch the eyes of attendees at this year’s National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS). While those large, freshly painted pieces of equipment will have farmers drooling for an opportunity to take ownership of what they’re seeing on the display floor, the price tag can sometimes send them on their way.
Producers, take heart. Used equipment may satisfy one’s pocketbook and farming needs.
Greg Peterson, who is known as Machinery Pete, will hold a seminar at this year’s NFMS. He will provide attendees with an update on the used machinery market, illustrating where it’s been and where it’s headed. Peterson’s is one of 14 seminars at this year’s show.
“I deal in all types of farm and construction equipment, literally anything that’s sold at auction, from a one-year-old tractor to a post hold digger,” Peterson said. “My aim is to give the pulse of farm equipment.”
Born the son of a farm equipment dealer, Peterson is considered the authority when it comes to used farm equipment. “I don’t farm, nor do I own any equipment myself. I just enjoy helping others, that’s all,” he said.
Peterson, who has presented at the show since 2010, will be on hand to field any question from attendees. He will give a general market update on equipment, from the front line to the used market. He will discuss pricing trends, availability, volume and talk about many different kinds of equipment. He will give best-practice tips for all farmers. He will tell attendees what’s hot and what’s not.
“From the end of 2021, through 2022 and early into 2023 we were historically low for inventory in used farm equipment,” Peterson said, “but the supply side of things has gotten a bit easier and improved.
“New farm equipment was pinched during the pandemic. If you wanted a new planter you had to put your order in and you crossed your fingers. Finally, though, things are starting to unwind, and things are sort of getting back to normal.”
According to Peterson, inventory of most all farm equipment has risen and auction prices have been scaled back. Purchasing those old pieces of equipment is good at this time, he said.
“I always have wondered why farmers pay top dollar for equipment,” Peterson said. “In my 34 years of tracking old and new equipment, I’ve learned that there’s good value in good used equipment. If you have a nice three-year-old combine, for instance, it’s a marketable item because the cost of new equipment keeps going up and up.
“During the pandemic, the manufacturers had only a few items in the supply chain and there was limited product available. Prices of that new equipment (were) already steep and it kept getting steeper and steeper. That all made for a good option in buying used equipment.”
Peterson said the hot items on the used farm equipment market currently are the high horsepower tractors, those that are 150 HP and higher.
“The smaller tractors under 100 HP come into play for the hobby farm crowd a little bit,” he said. “This group of small tractors got a boost during the middle of the pandemic. But this segment eventually fell off because the supply got filled up rather quickly. And besides, there’s more companies that make small tractors now, including those foreign brands.”
Peterson said other hot used equipment includes skid steers and tillage equipment. “These are the hottest of the hot,” he said.
Peterson is considered the most trusted source for information about used farm equipment. 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. He has compiled more than 600,000 auction prices on all types of used farm and construction equipment sold throughout North America.