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Iron Comps' 2020 Planter Market Report

** Note - a special update was made to this report following the 7.30.20 Machinery Insights Webinar on If you would like to see that analysis, please scroll to the bottom of the page for the updated report and video.
According to USDA estimates this week, US farmers planted a lot less corn this 2020 planting season at 92 million acres. This number was well below the mark of March intentions of almost 97 million. The markets immediately responded to take advantage of this significant miss. Just as this planting season has passed with that margin of error, so has the prime planter auction season (see the graph below for season planter sales volume). With all of that data in our system, and now in this bundled Iron Comps 2020 Planter Market Report, you can assess what has been moving on the market, for how much, and where these planters have been selling. Does this accurately match your March estimates?
If you are unfamiliar with the strong seasonality of planter sales, the graph below shows how many more planters are sold in March (and EOY in December), than the rest of the year.
To help navigate this report, and highlight a few insights, I've created a video to walk through some of the details and what each section represents.
A full image of the report follows this paragraph. If you would like a pdf, just reach out to me at Right away you may notice an uptick in 2018 July prices. Keep in mind the earlier volume graph that showed the seasonally low volumes during the summer months. This 'spike' is just due to a high outlier that pulled that month's average up because there were not enough planters on the market to normalize the numbers.
As I was working within Iron Comps to pull this report's information together, there were a few questions I felt needed addressing. Namely:
  • “What is the strength of the larger planters, 24 rows and greater?”
  • “How strong have sales been at retirement auctions and what pieces are selling there?”
  • “How does the market look post-planting season, especially given the shutdowns due to COVID-19?”

Large, 24+ Row Planters

For larger planters, it becomes more obvious the vast market share that Deere has. The challenges that go with producing and delivering this large of an implement is seen by the fact that there are only four OEM’s whose 24+ row planters have even been sold at auction yet this year.
You can also see the void of large planters hitting the auction market in May and June. These two month are not a favorable season to sell planters, especially these higher value implements.
The average price for these larger planters remains very consistent throughout the shutdown period. While this may not seem significant, it may be an early indication of the farmer’s demand softening, at least for planters. We’ve seen other equipment prices strengthen these last couple of months. The theory is that due to nearly all auctions going online this increases the competitive bidding with a higher number of bidders and drives the price up. Apparently not with these few planters?

Value of Planters Sold at Farm Retirement Auctions

Retirement auctions tend to bring a premium, as you can see in the snapshot above. When slicing this up by just retirement auctions, you notice that John Deere, Kinze and Case IH are the only planter OEM's that have been sold at retirement auctions so far this year. This last video walks through both retirement and consignment auction types in greater detail. You may have noticed the slide in planter values in June, so I address that in this clip and show how Iron Comps can be used to better understand what are trends in the market, and what are just outliers that skew averages.
** Newly Updated Video and Report, as of 7.30.20 are below:
If you have any questions about this report or would like to see more data within Iron Comps to determine equipment valuation insights, please feel free to reach out to me at