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Shifting Trends in the Market Call for Better 4-1-1 on Used Farm Equipment writer Kevin Hursh discusses the different trends in farm equipment technology, and how farmers are favoring used machinery which are more useful over “new iron” which are more expensive. He also mentions how different farming trends affect both the use and price of farming equipment, citing field cultivators as an example. These used to be priced at $1,000 but are now worth only $100 because of the shift to minimum tillage and direct seeding.

Farming equipment don't come in cheap, but many still continue purchasing them mostly out of necessity or to improve production. The good thing with buying used farm equipment is that they can be repurposed; you can still find use for them even years after you bought them. On the other hand, “combines”, or those equipment that have more than one function, cost a fortune to repair.

Today, it's not that difficult to search for used farm equipment, or to find a place to sell or trade your old one. There are now farmers' websites like 411Farmnet which serve as a venue for farmers to advertise their equipment, buy used farm equipment for sale from those who wish to upgrade theirs, and which serve as a forum to discuss equipment needs and other concerns; it has comprehensive listings of used equipment by place and price.

Hursh explains that sometimes some equipment are made for specific tasks, but end up doing an entirely different job than what they were designed for. For example, a small air seeder cart, which used to plant large quantities of crops, can serve as storage for leftover treated seed that aren't put into regular bins. An old grain trailer which cannot be issued a certification, can be placed behind a tractor to carry grain from the field.

There are times when you'd come across sellers in the website disposing of their machinery because they wish to upgrade to newer ones to improve their farm's efficiency. Or you may be a small, start-up farmer with a limited capital who'll be better off with used equipment that won't upset your budget. In both situations, a farmers' website that allows you to sell, buy, trade farm equipment and real estate, and discuss about these, is most beneficial.

A shift in the used equipment industry, according to Hursh, is the changing demands on both old and new equipment. He explains that age and depreciation are not the huge factors they used to be, as demand for old equipment is increasing while that for newer ones has been dropping. He says that is because some newer “combined” equipment are too task-specific, depreciates quicker, and costs more to repair than older types of farming equipment that have more diverse uses.

When buying farm equipment, it is important to get the right one you need from people who know these equipment like the back of their hand—farmer to farmer deals. The key is knowing the right 4-1-1, which you can definitely find at 411Farmnet.