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Midwest Farm & Forestry Auction had high demands for equipment

MERRILL, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Midwest auction held in Merrill is typically a one day event, this year they had so much inventory, it was expanded into the weekend.

Integrits Sales and Auction general manager Dan Rost said, “This year we’re seeing a really really high demand in the equipment industry.”

The ag industry is expected to grow 9% between now and 2025, but as Wisconsin paper mills like Verso close, it can be hard to see that growth.

“Even though a lot of businesses have stagnated, a lot of other businesses are setting record highs the beautiful weather this year has allowed people to work a lot longer than I usually would," said Rost.

This auction will sell over 100 items, many hard to come by.

"Some of the forestry equipment that we have is pretty specialized it’s for big trees," Rost continued.

But as the state's paper industry takes hits, so does its suppliers.

Rost said "it got impacted last year with some of the tear of changes but they’re still rolling really strong and a lot stronger than the Northern Wisconsin logging industry hopefully will see Wisconsin come back for that forestry market."

Local loggers like Sean Roder are feeling the impact too.

Rodger owns his logging company out of Rib Lake.

Typically he has a set rate, and does sub-contracting gigs, but this year has not been the best. "Logging is horrible this year with the closing of Verso so it’s no good," said Roder.

As they push forward, getting equipment at cut rate is essential, many relying on their auction skills.

Roder said, "If I want it I’m gonna have it, that’s just the way it is."

Others in attendance were there for equipment other than forestry as well. Ryan Brock, a dairy farmer from Willett bought a cement truck, with plans to retro-fit it to hold manure.

He said what would typically run him more, cost him $5,500 here. After taxes and fees, he left just under budget.

"I thought there would be a couple trucks here that I’m looking for and that they’d be reasonably priced," said Brock.

The auction says the big ticket items will likely go for upwards of $400,000. The event continues through Saturday, both in person and online.

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Addison Van Patten

Sports Reporter

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