One disadvantage of buying used equipment versus new is that used machines typically do not come with a warranty.

But, farmers can now get a used equipment warranty through local Cenex Harvest States and Farmland member cooperatives.

This used equipment warranty, which is unique in the industry, covers used equipment for up to eight years or 8,000 hours from the date of manufacture.

To obtain the warranty, farmers must pay a $100 application fee, agree to use the equipment exclusively for agriculture while utilizing Cenex and Farmland brand products and the equipment must pass an in-depth mechanical inspection. There also is a 100-hour screening period.

Despite these requirements, Tim Borstad, a certified energy specialist for four cooperatives in west-central Minnesota, says he's seen a lot of interest in the program. "There's nothing else like it out there."

The used equipment warranty, which is administered by Country Energy, LLC, an agent for Cenex Harvest States Cooperatives and Farmland Industries, Inc., is available through Certified Ruby Fieldmaster Dealers who sell Cenex and Farmland brand lubricants.

Bernie Elliott, lubricants manager for Country Energy, notes that Country Energy feels confident offering such a warranty because they have put their products through extensive testing.

"These products are designed for agricultural use, and we routinely test our lubricants and diesel brands to make sure they stand up to field conditions in the most advanced equipment."