Steffes Group


Three Major Auctions in Three States - All In One Day!

Three Major Auctions in Three States - All In One Day!

Bidders gathered Wednesday morning at the G-Bar Ranch in Milaca, Minnesota. Another crowd was ready to start bidding at Keith Axtman Farm in Rugby, North Dakota. And down in Steamboat Rock, Iowa, yet a third assembled. Three major retirement auctions, separated by 700 miles. With three Steffes teams.

And all three were big successes, with buyers eagerly bidding up prices on farm equipment beyond the expectations of most observers. The following day brought yet a fourth major auction, also a big success.

“Machinery auctions are a lot of work, starting long before the auction day. Fortunately, we’ve been blessed with a great group of representatives who bring a wealth of experience to each event. This gives us the capacity to conduct more auctions in the limited time between harvest and planting,” said Scott Steffes, president of the company.

Wednesday’s bidding at the G-Bar Ranch in Minnesota attracted more than 300 people, including 225 bidders, for the live auction. Another 350 participated online. “We had some great row crop equipment as well as cattle equipment, and it did very well,” said Representative Ashley Huhn.

“Demand for clean machinery continues to surpass all expectations. Things are tight for many farmers, so they’re focused on good used equipment with low hours, and there isn’t a huge supply. So we see results like a 2011 John Deere 9430 selling for $151,000. That’s the kind of price it would have brought back in 2013 or 2014 when it was a lot newer,” said Huhn.

The team at the Keith Axtmann Farm in Rugby, North Dakota, found a similar willingness to pay a premium for clean equipment. “We had a 1997 John Deere 8400 with 9,635 hours go for $50,000, which was well above our pre-sale estimate. But it had good tires and had been well cared for, and that brought a premium of $5,000-10,000,” said Steffes.

“We had strong bidding across the board, in part because there really aren’t a lot of options out there. Dealers are holding fast on their prices, so that’s bringing more bidders to auctions,” he added.

At the same time, the retirement auction in Steamboat Rock, Iowa, was raising eyebrows as well. A 1991 John Deere 4455 with 7,625 hours went for $40,000 – far exceeding the pre-sale estimate, according to Representative Tim Meyer.

“It was like that all day,” said Meyer, noting that a 2008 John Deere 8330 with low hours brought $145,000, and a 2001 John Deere 1760 brought $26,500. “Livestock equipment was also very strong,” he said.

The following day, the strong demand for late model equipment continued with an estate in Crawfordsville, Iowa. Prices on late-model equipment were strong, but as noted in the Rugby auction, older equipment that had been well cared for also brought a premium.