Tuesday's auction of tractors, combines and other equipment attracted a strong field of 430 bidders as farmers and other buyers from at least 26 states and five foreign countries registered to bid, according to Schrader Real Estate & Auction Cothat conducted the auction for Tim Dewey Farm & Cattle, one of the nation's largest farming operations.

"We had several factors come together to make this one of our biggest farm equipment auctions in history," said Ritter Cox, who managed the sale for Schrader. "Strong commodity prices have fueled an increase in demand for farm equipment, and there's actually a shortage of equipment right now. We had some late-model tractors, combines and other machines with the latest technology, so you had a 'perfect storm' of factors leading to a great sale," said Cox.

One of the higher-valued items was a 2010 John Deere 9770 combine, which sold for $217,000. The sale also included two 2009 John Deere 9770 combines and seven tractors, including a John Deere 9530 4x4 and a 2009 John Deere 8530. Other machinery included stripper heads, corn heads, row crop heads, grain carts, seven Peterbilt 379 semi tractors and other items.

Tim Dewey Farm & Cattle had decided to sell the equipment at auction because of a change in its operations. "As a business decision, Mr. Dewey evaluated and decided that it makes more sense for the land to be custom farmed, and that meant they had a lot of equipment to sell," said Cox. "This also allows Mr. Dewey to focus more resources on his trucking and hay businesses."

The equipment auction was unrelated to Schrader's upcoming auction of the 9,698-acre DF&D Ranch in northwest Oklahoma for other members of the Dewey family. That auction will be conducted Wednesday, April 13. Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co. is based in Columbia City, Ind.