Steffes Group


Wet Weather Presents Challenges During Busy Retirement Auction Season

Wet Weather Presents Challenges During Busy Retirement Auction Season

When the crop prices are high, the harvest is on schedule and the weather is perfect, a lot of auction companies can get good results on the farm auctions that fill much of the fall calendar here at Steffes.

But the real challenge comes when facing challenges like that of the wet weather in North Dakota and Minnesota.

“We have a lot of cases where there’s a great crop in the field, but farmers haven’t been able to combine it because it’s too wet. Meanwhile, they scheduled their retirement auction weeks ago and after the auction date they’ll still have crops in the field but the combine will have been sold. That’s when you have to improvise. In some cases, we’ve helped sellers connect with custom combiners who can finish the harvest. In other cases, it’s amazing how often a neighbor will step up to help. Farmers really look out for each other,” said Steffes Representative Brad Olstad.

Given the wet weather in much of the area, that’s been happening a lot lately.

“One thing that’s very important at times like this is to have good communication with the seller. Last week, we had auctions in North Dakota and Minnesota, and all did well. Because of the wet weather, in-person attendance was down, but online participation was up, as some bidders had to stay home and keep working on their own harvest. It’s very common to have farmers bidding while they’re out in the fields with their own machines running,” said Brad.

Given the weather, track and 4WD machinery are, especially in high demand. “We’ve still got probably 30 percent of the corn and 20 percent of the beans still in the field, and farmers have to have equipment that can harvest it,” he said. “We also continue to see the established trend of late-model and low-hour equipment selling for a premium relative to older machines,” he added.

One noteworthy auction will be the Tom McInnes Jr. Farm Retirement Auction Monday, Nov. 12 in Hillsboro, ND. That auction will feature equipment that was purchased new and has been well maintained. Others will be Nov. 7 in Niagra, ND, Nov. 8 in Fessenden, ND, and Nov. 14 in Oriska, ND.

“It’s important to check the website to see what’s coming up because we also have timed online auctions, some major land auctions, and a lot more,” said Olstad. For more information, visit www.steffesgroup.com.