This data used in this article is now available in Iron Solutions’ new IronGuides® feature, “Other Equipment”, which houses sold reports to over 600 different and highly customizable pieces of equipment, like grain carts, planters, seeders, and more!
I have a friend in the ag publishing business named Dave who has asked me every year if I can write something insightful about used grain cart pricing trends. Until now, every year, my answer to him was always the same, “Sorry Dave, grain carts aren’t in the data set that I have access to.” But as of May 2020 all of the sudden I DID have access to some new data that includes grain carts. This feature opens up dealer and auction sold reports of over 650 new types of other equipment, ie. Equipment not valued through the usual IronGuides normalization process. Included in this data are grain carts. This month I’ve looked into this used grain cart sales data reported over the last 12 months from North American dealer and auction transactions. I spotted some observations that, if grain carts are part of your operations, might be interesting to you too.
Seasonality In Used Grain Cart Sales
First let’s look at all of the nearly 2,000 reported sales of used grain carts from April 2019 through March of 2020. These include all sales of the leading manufacturers that you would expect like Brent, J&M, Kinze, Parker and Unverferth as well as A&L, Balzer, Demco, Killbros and, would you believe, another 25 manufacturers? That’s a lot of variety in manufacturers let alone the variations in size, scales, tire/track, and auger configurations.
Overall sales of used grain carts peak in the months of August, September and October. These three months alone represent over 51% of the total used grain carts sold and, not surprisingly, coincides with harvest season. I know, you’re making that “Well DUH!” face aren’t you? Okay, I don’t blame you but we’re just getting started here. And that point brings up a good question:
Is it better to buy a grain cart in the off season?
We can see that the peak of used grain cart sales occurs in the fall and the trough of these sales is in the spring. Specifically, June is the month least likely to have a used grain cart sold. June represents only 3% of the annual used grain carts volume sold. So, when we compare some specific models’ sold prices between the high peaks of Fall 2019 with the low sales in June 2019 do we see pricing variations among the same type, make and model, or age?
We’re going to look at four of the most popular grain carts sold where there exists the most data for our analysis. Those models are:
- 2011 Brent 1082
- 2012 Brent 1082
- 2014 Brent 1596
- 2013 Kinze 1300
2011/2012 Brent 1082
Looking at the 2011 model year of the Brent 1082 grain cart sold report data actually shows that the average sold price was 2% lower in the peak harvest months of August through October of 2019 than the units sold in June of ‘19. Similarly, the 1-year-younger, 2012 Brent 1082 also sold for an average of 3% lower average in the peak months of August through October.
2014 BRENT 1596
Looking at the newer and larger 2014 Brent 1596 shows that the average sold price was 10% higher in the peak harvest months of August through October of 2019 than the same year and model units sold in June of ‘19.
2013 KINZE 1300
The 2013 Kinze 1300 is also among the larger grain carts, and like the Brent 1586 above, reflects a premium when sold in the peak months versus those sold in the month of June. In this case, an 11% higher sold price in the peak months was observed versus sale of the same model and year in the off-season month of June.
So in these four models we see a mixed result. The two smaller grain carts sold for slightly less (3% to 4% less) in the peak months while the larger models sold for 10% to 11% higher price in the peak months. You can draw your own conclusions here. Perhaps the larger grain carts are more likely to have a pricing advantage to the buyer in the off season where the smaller grain carts don’t seem to show any price advantage to the buyer in the off season. Another thing to keep in mind before making decisions based on averages is the large range of options that affect the value of any grain cart. Electric tarps, cameras, tracks vs. wheels, duals, auger variants, joystick control, scales and just plain old machine condition are all variables that can account for large differences in the price of similar makes and models.
Typical Age of Used Grain Carts Sold in the Last 12 Months
Now we’ll turn to the age of the used grain carts sold in the last 12 months. Nearly half (46%) of all the used grain carts reported sold last year were in the 6 to 10 year-old range. That is, model years of 2010 to 2014 being the most popular model years sold in the last 12 months.
In particular model year 2012, (the 8 year old) is the most common. Could it be that more new were sold in 2012 when corn was $7 US per bushel and therefore more 2012 units to be traded now? Dallas Blome, Managing Editor at Iron Solutions suggests,
“That could be one reason. But another possibility could be tax purposes. Note the 2012 model year is the most common year for used grain carts sold in the last 12 months. Five to seven years is typically the allowable depreciation for farm equipment tax deductions and that 2012 model falls right into the eighth year of age. This could suggest that perhaps an influx of used 8 year-old, 2012 models were coming back to the dealers and auction lots as they hit their full tax depreciation term, sold to the next owner, and appeared in our sold report data we see here.“
With 34 different manufacturers representing over 200 models and model variants sold, analysis of specific makes and models could lead to more confusion than clarity. When it comes to grain carts and many other farm equipment types the combination of each selling situation, machine condition and options make each transaction unique. For this reason we’ll steer clear of any deeper brand or model-specific assessments, but hopefully the broader generalizations about the age and seasonality of used grain cart sales may be useful to you. Dealers and lenders in North America now have access to the IronGuides Other Equipment sold report data from which this report was sourced. Check with your local dealer or ag equipment banker for specifics on particular grain cart valuations.
Now when Dave asks for a used grain cart pricing analysis again, this time I’ll be ready.