At the auctions: Demand soars for second-hand spud gear

Strong demand for good quality used kit and rising potato prices are creating the perfect storm for anyone looking to sell spud harvesting machinery.

Several large parcels of potato equipment have been planted on auctioneers’ books attracting interest after a better year for growers with recent free-buy prices approaching £260/t and weekly averages of £210/t.

As a barometer, last week’s Taylor Farm Industries sale near Ely, Cambridgeshire, generated good pre-sale interest and attendance on sale day, reports Cheffins, with two harvesters achieving strong prices.

The 2009-plated Grimme SF1700 self-propelled unit with just 1,662 hours clocked was hard to value pre-sale but is heading to Ireland with a sale tag of £55,000, says auctioneer Oliver Godfrey.

Trailed harvesters also remain popular, with a 2009 Grimme GT170S commanding £32,500.


Grimme potato harvester

See also: Rare collection of classic tractors to go under the hammer

Other highlights included a 2011 Miedema Structural PH2000RH two-row planter that yielded £18,500 to a local grower. Most of the business’s irrigation equipment – reels and pipe work – also found homes locally, as did a 2013 Amazone Pantera 4001 self-propelled sprayer that achieved £104,500.

Unusually, two Trimble RTK guidance systems with screens were listed. They tend to be a rare sight in sales catalogues but both kits made £5,000 on the day.

The high level of demand is expected to be repeated for Fenland Farmers’ sale at Stretham, Cambridgeshire, on 21 March, with a large catalogue of equipment on offer.

Auctioneer Chris Purllant of Brown & Co suggests buyers are still keen to secure stock for resale with demand showing little sign of abating.

“It is a very opportune time for farmers to clear yards of surplus equipment with an eye on generating capital to reinvest. Our conversations with new equipment suppliers in the potato sector would suggest they are also busy and pleased with sales,” he says.

Amazone sprayer

Amazone sprayer

“In my 20 years of being involved in farm sales a recent change has been the number of farmers buying the top-end equipment – particularly tractors – which was a sector once dominated by dealers.”

Despite challenging planting conditions through to mid March – with all but the lightest farms thought to be behind on their planting aspirations – forecasts for this year suggest the potato sector should benefit from buoyant prices underpinning machinery purchases in the short term at the very least.

Turnout for livestock kit

Highlights in the livestock sales area include Courance Farms’ sale at Parkgate, Dumfries on 17 March where modern equipment from a 300-cow unit are offered ahead of the holding being let.

Handled by Harrison & Hetherington’s Andrew Templeton, key items include a Fan Bauer Separator, Storth 1,200m rear-mounted reel and 600m front-mounted umbilical reel system with Doda Pump unit and twin jet spreaders.

Again, trade talk with new equipment suppliers locally suggests there is good demand on both sides of the machinery sales arena and a 2008 26ft Stewart Livestock trailer (fitted with sheep decks) is expected to make around £8,000.


Shelbourne 2000 Powerspread

In the East Midlands, Fox Farms’ sale near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, earlier this month saw well-maintained kit sell well, reports auctioneers Bagshaws.

A Shelbourne 2000 Powerspread V spreader made £10,800; Kuhn Primor mounted straw chopper £5,000; Keenan Mech Fibre TM300 feeder £3,800; and AS Marston Ace II grain trailer £5,700.

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