Featuring numerous modern tractors and specialist vegetable growing equipment, buoyant prices were seen throughout a recent dispersal sale, conducted by Cheffins. Alex Heath reports.
On behalf of KS Coles, a vegetable grower based near Wellington, Somerset, Cheffins recently hosted an on-site dispersal sale, with more than 600 lots on offer.
The Coles family has been involved in the marketing of vegetables from Somerset for more than three generations, with Ken Coles starting his own enterprise in 1964, growing and selling vegetables at Covent Garden market. Alongside his wife Christine, Ken Coles expanded the business rapidly over the years.
With the head of operations now Paul Coles, Ken’s son, the business is one of the UK’s market leaders in growing, harvesting, packing and supplying swedes, peas and broad beans to all major supermarkets.
The company has supplied major multiple retailers since 1970, while also supplying processors, independent retailers and wholesalers throughout European and Scandinavian markets.
However, the family recently made the decision to cease the swede growing operation and will now concentrate on other farm diversification projects and the arable side of the business.
Highlights of the sale included eight Fendt tractors ranging from 200 to 360hp and eight John Deere tractors covering 140 to 200hp.
Topping the tractor offering was a 2019 Fendt 724 Vario with 1,708 hours on the clock, selling for £111,000.
Another of the same year, make and model showing 1,808 hours sold for £110,500.
A 2018 Fendt 930 Vario with 4,377 hours sold for £105,500, with a second showing 500 hours more made £96,000, while a third with just over 5,600 hours reached £86,000.
Heading up the John Deere offering was a 2017 6155R with 5,260 hours. It was fitted with an MX T142 loader and found a new home at £60,500. Another 6155R, this time a 2015 example with 6,448 hours, sold for £49,000.
Among the other lots, a 2011 ASA-Lift self-propelled swede harvester with 7,560 hours sold for £120,000, while a 2009 Bateman RB26 self-propelled sprayer with 24 metre boom and 10,822 hours sold for £27,000.
Cultivation and crop care equipment also met strong demand with a 4.5m Sumo Trio fetching £12,500, a Monosem precision drill making £9,250 and an Amazone fertiliser spreader, complete with loading crane, achieved £9,000.
Trailers topped at £11,200 for a 2015 Richard Western, while another from the same manufacturer, this time an 18-plate model, made £10,800.
There was also close to 5,000 one-tonne swede/potato boxes which sold at an average of £76 per box.
Oliver Godfrey, Cheffins’ director, commented; “This was a major sale of well-maintained, valuable machinery and equipment and we were glad to achieve healthy prices for the Coles family on the day.
There were at least 200 people in attendance, with around double that number bidding online. We were careful to ensure that everyone who attended followed social distancing guidelines and put a number of measures in place to ensure the sale was covid-secure, including QR codes, hand sanitiser stations, facemasks for all of Cheffins staff and wiping down areas of high traffic.
“Buyers were from throughout the UK and Ireland and mainland Europe. There was a particularly good trade for tractors which is indicative of the confidence in the farming sector, despite the uncertainties which lie ahead around subsidies and the industry’s transition post-Brexit.
“In addition, the prices paid at the Coles sale demonstrate the lack of good quality, second-hand machinery currently available on the market and the subsequent demand levels from both domestic and overseas buyers.
There has been a notable increase in the number of buyers bidding online rather than in person and we have been greatly encouraged by how well the market has adapted to purchasing via online systems.
This uptick in online bidding has allowed us to generate some strong trade for machinery both at on-site sales and at the monthly machinery sale at Cheffins.”
Prices reported are hammer prices, not inclusive of 2.5 per cent buyers’ premium or VAT.
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