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How A Combine Works -- And How Much They Cost


Paris, Illinois

August 22, 2021


Combines are a familiar sight these days in the corn and soybean fields of East Central Illinois. Ever wonder what the huge machines cost and how they're equipped? Folks from area farm implement dealers provide an update on those hulks of the harvest.


How much do those monsters cost?


Expect to pay somewhere between $330,000 and $500,000 if you're buying new and paying list price.


The list price for new Case IH combines range from $330,000 to $487,000, and that's for base models with no add-ons, said Greg Stierwalt, a sales representative for Birkey's in Urbana.

Most new John Deere combines are priced from $380,000 to $480,000, said Michael Cessna, a sales representative for the Arends-Hogan-Walker (AHW) dealership east of Urbana.

With add-on features, farmers might be looking at $500,000 for a combine, "but you could get up to $600,000 real easy," Cessna said.


Those prices don't include the corn header and soybean header attachments you need for harvest. Budget $50,000 to $100,000 for each of those.


Why the range in price for combines? Bigger models tend to have greater horsepower, bigger grain tanks and can accommodate bigger header attachments.


A big factor bumping up the price: upgrades to meet new emission standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.


As is the case with cars, few buyers pay list price — there are often promotional discounts and trade-in deals.


A combine is a big capital investment for farmers, but remember it's not the only equipment purchase they make. They also need tractors — which cost in the same range — as well as planters and tillage equipment.

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