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Auctioneer's Corner - Witcher Auctions

10 Sep 2023

Witcher AuctionsFarm equipment and farmland auctions have been gaining popularity over the last decade for both buying and selling. Today we will introduce you to the second generation, family run Witcher Auctions, located in Wynne, Arkansas.

Farmers Hot Line: Let’s say I’m a bidder that is not familiar with your company, tell me about yourself.

imageKirk Witcher: Witcher Auctions is a family owned auction company started in 1972 by my dad Kenneth Witcher. In 1980 he began conducting farm equipment auctions here in Eastern and Central Arkansas. In 2006, my brother Kent Witcher and I began taking over day to day operation of the business and incorporated a retail sales division of farm, construction, and transportation equipment as well as introducing live online simulcasts of our auctions. In 2013 we began conducting weekly “online-only” auctions. Our business continues to expand to customers across the United States as well as a good deal of exports around the world.

Online auctions vs. In-person bidding—thoughts?

We have seen the online auctions draw in a completely different group of buyers than a live auction brings. Generally speaking, many of our online bidders wouldn’t come to a live auction, either because they don’t have time to spend a day, plus the travel time, or they’re just not comfortable in that setting. On the other hand, most live auction bidders won’t buy something unless they can inspect it in person and can be a part of the bidding process on the ground.

imageTypically items that are not a geographical fit for our area are more likely to sell online; snow removal equipment is a great example of this. We try to thoroughly photograph and describe online listings so that buyers can make informed decisions as well as have ample time to call ahead with specific questions or come to inspect the items. However, the advantage is usually to the onsite buyer because they can inspect the item in person as well as avoid the buyer fees that come with purchasing online in a simulcast auction.

In our online-only auctions most items are videoed in operation with a full “walk-around” so buyers get a similar experience to being able to inspect the item in person. Also, there are no buyer fees for our online-only auctions so it has been a much more enticing option for buyers.

Overall, buyers have more flexibility by being able to choose their buying format, and our sellers have seen higher prices realized from the additional exposure for their items. As technology continues to improve, we expect the online format to continue to grow to be an even bigger part of the auction method than it already is.

What were your “Top 5” popular pieces of equipment last quarter?

imageFarm tractors were very strong sellers this spring, but the market has cooled considerably as we’ve moved toward summer. Excavators and lowboy trailers are holding strong as well as notill planting and vertical tillage equipment.

Do you see any trends in the type of equipment be auctioned/bought?

Two to 10 year old equipment seems to be most in demand. New equipment prices have continued to climb and commodity prices have dipped so “slightly used” has become a more attractive option for many buyers. We have seen less interest in equipment that may need slight repairs where in the past, buyers were eager to invest in equipment that needed some fixing up. Clean and field ready is definitely becoming more of a priority.

What is the highest priced item auctioned in the last quarter?

John Deere 8420 MFWD Tractor - $80,000

What is the highest count of one type of equipment in your auctions recently?

No particular item stands out. We always have a good mix of all types of equipment.

imageIf you could give someone attending an auction one tip what would it be?

Know the company you’re dealing with and don’t make assumptions about equipment. Most auction companies are reputable and aboveboard, but some are less scrupulous about being upfront with their buyers. Inspect equipment to your own satisfaction and don’t assume that just because a issue or defect isn’t announced that there isn’t one. Very few companies can justify the time or resources to thoroughly inspect every piece that goes across the block so that responsibility falls on the buyer. 

What do you see as the “up & coming” type of equipment?

Commodity prices are pushing our customers to produce higher yields than ever before. All the while lowering input costs. The trend is definitely toward vertical tillage equipment as well as no-till planting.

How big of a roll does time-of-year play on sales? For example, Spring vs. Fall.

imageVery big—Spring is by far our busiest time of year. Once farmers are in the field, things slow down significantly. Business begins to pick back up just before harvest in the fall.

Any big upcoming auctions?

We have 5-50 pieces of equipment selling every week on our website at Our next live farm & construction equipment auction will be on September 19th at our Wynne, AR auction yard. Several partial and complete dispersals will be in the auction and we are accepting consignments daily.

Anything else you would like to add?

Witcher Auctions is still a small, family owned auction company, but as we continue to grow, our top priorities stay the same: make life-long customers out of our first-time customers by conducting business with integrity and working harder than other companies for our buyers and sellers. 


Farmers Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.