Demand is good for used rural equipment and the amount of equipment sold at auction is up significantly from last year, according to Machinery Pete’s Quarterly Used Values Index for the first quarter.

The index is compiled by industry expert Greg Peterson based on data from 1,000 regional auctioneers, 600 ag lenders, 2,000 implement dealers and thousands of farmers across U.S. and Canada. The report tracks 15 categories, including several in the rural lifestyle segment.

Overall, the auction market is strong. For March, the number of auctions is up 23.7% compared to March of last year. The strength of the used lawn and garden market is shown by the search traffic on, which features more than 100,000 listings from dealers. Searches for lawn and garden equipment had the biggest increase of all the categories, up 46.7% in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the fourth quarter of 2015. Searches for tractors under 40 horsepower were up 25.5% in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the fourth quarter of 2015.

Here’s a breakdown of trends for rural lifestyle categories, comparing first quarter 2016 with the fourth quarter of 2015. The index is based on a scale of 1-10:

Tractors Under 100 Horsepower

Tractors 100 horsepower and under rated 8.2, which is up slightly from the fourth quarter.

“Values have been holding to inching higher in this sector. There’s not the excess, late-model, used inventory situation on dealer lots. The general economy continues to strengthen, making the hobby farm buyer more aggressive in the used market in this sector,” says Greg Peterson in the report.

A new record high was recently set at a farm auction in Wisconsin where a John Deere 3055 2WD, with 2,577 hours, sold for $32,000. The original price in 1993 was $39,000, according to

Garden Tractors

The index for garden tractors held steady at 7.2, with a slight rise expected based on the season. “If it rains, folks will need to mow. Good used models are attractive options given the cost of new,” Peterson says.

Skid Steers

Skid steers are holding steady at 8.1. “Late model used skid steer values are ‘OK,’ not ‘hot,’ but good condition, older, used skid steers were very hot,” Peterson says. A new record was also set for skid steers at a farm auction in Minnesota wherea 1999 Case 75XT with 1,215 hours sold for $20,000.


The index for ATVs was down slightly to 7.6, with Peterson noting that dealers have excess new models on their lots.

The good news is that, used or new, the demand for what you sell is strong and there are lots of outlets for moving equipment. Make sure your customers know all the places you sell and advertise equipment, so they can find your inventory when they are looking to buy. 

What are you seeing at your dealership in terms of used equipment demand? Does it reflect what is shown in this auction data? Share your comments below.