I love data and always have. It tells us exactly where we’ve been. It tells us how quickly things are changing and to what degree. It also tells us what’s happening right now. As the son of a third generation farm equipment dealer, I have always hoped the auction price data I’ve been compiling for nearly 27 years has been a help to dealers, to keep you very much on top of what things are worth.

Take for example used combines.

In this blog, I’ve got a whopper of a data table for you with the average auction sale prices over the past 4 years on a number of popular John Deere and Case IH combines, varying in age from the latest model used units all the way back into the early 1990s and late 1980s. One thing certainly has changed over the past 25 to 30 years — combines have gotten bigger.

I’m happy to report that data we compile at MachineryPete.com has also grown in fun new ways. Now we track search traffic data to the 100,000-plus dealer equipment listings featured on our site. Who is clicking on what? Which categories are trending up with more clicks? Which are falling?

When it comes to combines, there’s some fascinating data we have to share with you. Breaking things down by combine class size, here’s the results from March 1 to May 27, 2016 in terms of most search clicks on dealer combine listings at MachineryPete.com:

Most Searched Used Combine Models

Perhaps that isn’t surprising given the soft ag economy we’ve been stuck in here for the past few years there are more folks looking for used harvesters and looking at lower price points/smaller class sizes. But now you know for a fact. You aren’t left guessing.

Now switch gears to our data table showing average auction prices on used combines over the past 4 years. Note the number of cases where the average auction price so far in 2016 is actually up vs. 2015, and note how many of those cases are on smaller class size used combine models. Average auction prices on John Deere 9660 STS are up, so too with 9750 STS, 9610, 9510 and even up on 9770 STS and 9670 STS models.

That simple fact of rising auction sale prices on numerous models of older used combines has been quite surprising to many folks here the first half of 2016. But if you really study this data table showing the average auction price over the past four years, I think you’ll find one of the underlying reasons why we’re now seeing these occasional upticks in value — because used combine values fell so hard and so fast back in 2014.

Combines: Average Auction Price TrendsCase IH 2388s fell 17.2% in value in 2014; John Deere S680s fell 18.4%; John Deere S670s fell 16.7%; John Deere 9870 STSs fell 22.8%; John Deere 9760 STSs fell 17.5%.

See what I mean. The data definitely tells us where we’ve been and also what’s happening right now. What will the summer of 2016 hold for used farm equipment values? Up? Down? By how much? Stay tuned and stay plugged in.