Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ice, snow, wind and fire

Greg Peterson
Publisher, F.A.C.Ts Report

You've heard of Earth, Wind & Fire, the disco band from the '70s?

That's nothing. Last Saturday (February 24, 2007) on a farm auction near Riceville, Iowa, auctioneer Dean Eastman and those attending the sale had to put up with ice, snow, wind and fire. Still, business got done. Farm equipment got put up for sale and sold, and sold very well in fact.

Which is amazing, given the nearly 12 inches of snow and blizzard conditions that descended upon northeast Iowa last Saturday. Nasty is about the best way to describe it.

"The weather wasn't good to say the least!" reported auctioneer Eastman. "There was ice, snow, wind, and everything in between. The electricity went off at the sale part way through. The power poles, in sight of the sale, broke off just down the road and one was even burning."


Modern technology helped the sale reach a fruitful conclusion.

"Because the weather was so bad, I had buy orders on almost every piece and sometimes multiple bids on one item," said Eastman. "The dryer took the cake. We had five ringmen on cell phones at once and two guys in person all bidding at the same time. What a zoo!"

The grain dryer Eastman is referring to was an Airstream 260C model. It sold for $8,500. Eastman said he and the owner (selling out) had over 30 calls on the dryer alone in the days leading up to the sale.

Other items of note at this auction included a 1989 Deutz-Allis 9190 mechanical front-wheel drive tractor with 3,115 hours, sold for $22,300;, a Loftness 20-foot stalk chopper for $5,300; a White 226 field cultivator, 26-foot in just fair shape, sold for $1,700; a NH 855 round baler also in just fair condition for $3,400; a White 5100 12R-30 planter in good shape for $3,800 and a 1989 Gleaner R40 combine with 3,075 hours for $8,200.

Click on the link above to see how these sale prices compare to other similar items sold over the last few years at auction.

It's been such a mild winter. We've been free of snow up until recently here in the upper Midwest. I was beginning to think we'd all gone a little soft. My two daughters have grown weary of my tales of real winters in the good old days. A second blizzard with another predicted 12 inches of snow is bearing down on us as I write this.

Good to know little things like ice, wind, snow, blizzards and broken, burning power poles can't slow us down.