Climbing input costs in 2023 don’t stop at fertilizer. Machinery inventory makes up about 40% of all production costs. Managing machinery and making smart purchasing decisions are critical for the overall economic health of any operation. Tyler Mark, an ag economist with the University of Kentucky, says used farm equipment is an important part of any profitability plan.
In 2022, the used equipment market ended the year with a bang, but the reason why stems back to 2012. Farmers traded equipment back then before prices fell off from 2013 to 2018 when farmers hung on to every piece of machinery. Then when farmers were ready to purchase again in 2018 and 2019, prices went way up, just in time for COVID to shut down new equipment production. Now, a decade later, there’s both strong demand and low supply – an idiosyncratic machinery market phenomenon.
And according to Brady Brewer, a Purdue Extension ag economist, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for when a farmer should be looking to buy. But he says in general, used equipment prices tend to be highest in the fourth quarter.
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