The law of supply and demand has exerted itself into the used baler market, providing great opportunities to find good deals on late-model machines.
This is certainly a change from several years ago when shopping for a late-model and little-used round baler involved some serious sticker shock.
Improvements in cattle prices back then pumped money into producers’ pockets. Round balers were high on the list of upgrades in forage harvest gear. Buyers looking to nab a late-model baler to save some money as opposed to buying new were shocked by the prices.
Years of lackluster round baler sales prior to this time had dried up the supply of used machines. As a result, competition for balers was fierce, and values on late-model machines, in particular, took a 15% to 23% hike in value in 2013, depending on make and model.
So many buyers headed to their dealers to buy new. That, in turn, started to resupply the used baler market to the point that today, “we definitely are seeing more round balers around than, say, three years ago,” says Scott Cook of Cook Auction.
Those extra balers came into the market from trade-ins and increased turnover in machines. Congress permanently setting the Section 179 depreciation limits at $500,000 for 2016 certainly is encouraging some cattle producers to buy new balers this winter.
The increased supply of late-model round balers is producing a small windfall in value for buyers. Prices for such machines softened during the fall of 2015 and dropped, on average, 5%. Softness in values continued this past winter.
The other factor influencing round baler values comes from an increase in farm retirement auctions in 2016.
“We are definitely seeing older operators step out of farming right now, which is reflected in the increased number of retirement auctions we are holding,” says Scott Steffes of Steffes Auction. “That is putting more good-quality equipment on the market.”
THE VARIETY OF OPTIONS CONFOUNDS PRICING
One of the challenges of shopping for a late-model baler is putting a reasonable price on the transaction. As with hours on a tractor or combine, the primary cut in sorting out low-value vs. high-value balers is their use (or bales produced). The low side of the price averages shown in the article at right accounts for well-used balers, for example.
However, the way a baler is equipped also has a big impact on its value. This accounts for the fact that some 4- or 5-year-old balers can bring both auction and dealer asking prices equal to that of 1- or 2-year-old harvesters.
While net wrap and extra-wide pickup heads have become a common feature on balers (in fact, it’s hard to find a baler not equipped with both of those features), there are other options and accessories that impact a baler’s price.
The biggest values in model upgrades are crop-cutting knives (they preslice balers for easier feeding) and balers equipped with harvest silage. Also buoying a late-model used baler’s worth are accessories such as cornering wrapping, a bale pusher, a hydraulic pickup lift, and operating monitors.
“Then there is the given of condition,” adds Cook. “A well-cared-for machine always fetches a premium price at auction or on dealers’ lots.”
(Source – http://www.agriculture.com/content/prices-drop-on-round-balers)