Last week we went to a real estate auction. About six miles up the road, there was 228.5 acres of bare land for sale in two tracts, split by the county road. Pretty good soils with good access, and 90-plus percent tillable. The auctioneer began the terms and conditions at 6:05 p.m. Thirty five minutes later the sale was over. Unsuccessful, we were back in the truck and headed home. It took less than forty minutes and only about five active bidders for this land to fetch $2.725 million, or $11,925 per acre!
The last couple of days, dad has been going online and tracking live auction results at Peffley Farm Equipment's December auction. The sale was over two days, the first mainly dealer inventory reduction, the second more traditional consignments. Both days were soft. Here are a few examples (these are late model, however, the trend was true, regardless of age):
•2010 CIH 8120 combine, 4wd, 1,300 hours $110,000
•2013 NH T8.330 tractor, ft/rear duals, 327 hours $125,000
•Late model Krause dominator 4850-18 disc chisel/ripper $16,500
The question is, how long will the diverging trend continue? Will farmers decide to spend cash reserves or equity to buy land?
Based on that equipment sale, it appears we will all be taking a hit on our balance sheet this year.
At home, we have begun to haul the few December corn contracts we have. It will be a short month from that perspective. With cash prices still low, corn will remain in the bins. We were able to slip in a couple strings of tile last week, but rain has kept us available to do the much needed catch up work in the office.
We have also been playing catch up getting power and gas brought into the storage building. With only a brief cold snap, continued warmer than normal weather has mitigated many of the delays dragging this project out. I will be glad when it is done, but that will be a while as we are finishing most of the interior.