The latest figures on the sales of farm equipment are not good, but the industry remains optimistic about the future. “In September, 40-100 HP tractor sales were down 13.5% and over 100HP sales were down 42%,”said Charlie O’Brien, VP of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. He added that sales of 4 wheel drive tractors were down 48% with combine sales falling over 20% for the month.
He points out that, while sales of large horsepower equipment are down sharply, the sales of small tractors are comparatively good, “Under 40 HP tractor sales for the year have been up 6.5%.” He said this small equipment usually goes to smaller farms or livestock operations which have seen better profits than larger row crop commodity operations.
As for a recovery, O’Brien says it will take some time because several years of record high sales have put new machines in farmers’ hands and left a lot of used equipment on dealer lots, “It is going to take some time to work this equipment through the system.” He feels that when commodity prices recover, new technology will again bring producers back into dealer showrooms, “When farmers are able, they will be back to find the right equipment for their operations.” But, during the trade show season this winter, there are likely to be more lookers than buyers.