Editor's Note: Casey Seymour is a columnist for No-Till Farmer's sister publication, Farm Equipment. He received the following reader question that we thought would provide valuable insight for strip-tillers ahead of harvest.

Q: A couple of years back staffers at the John Deere Harvester Works factory noted that their S Series combine will have an average life of 17 years and 5 different owners. Do you agree? As best as you can estimate, what would be a fairly typical number of hours for each trade and the percentage value change for each of those next four transactions on a typical combine?

A: I’m not sure I agree with the 17-year lifespan with 5 owners, as there are still John Deere 50 and 60 series combines working today. In most cases the first 2 owners will put the most hours on the machine. As the machine ages further, it will be sold to smaller acreage farmers who will typically put fewer hours on the combine.

By the time the combine gets to the 17-year-old point, it could have 4,000- 5,000 engine hours and 2,500-3,000 separator hours. The depreciation of the combine slows over time. By the time it is 17-20 years old, typically the value of the machine is only 10-20% of the original value when the combine was new. Hours and machine condition are going to be the biggest factor.

Casey Seymour has spent his career in used equipment remarketing at three different dealership groups, currently serving as the remarketing manager for 21st Century Equipment. He also operates Moving Iron LLC, which includes meetings, a longer format podcast series and other opportunities for remarketing managers. He can be reached at casey.seymour@movingironllc.com.

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