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Supply chain issues continue to impact equipment manufacturers, like most other industries.
But that hasn’t stopped farmers and others from buying ag equipment, based on the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) mid- year tractor and combine sales report.
AEM reported sales increased 13.7% for farm trac- tors and 12.6% for combines the first half of the year com- pared to the same stretch in 2020.
The sales pace also remains above the five-year average, although it did drop below last year’s run from May to June.
“The (sales of) row crop trac- tors have been really solid since about October of last year moving forward,” Curt
Blades, AEM senior vice presi- dent of ag services and forestry, told the RFD Radio Network. “You look at com- modity prices and farmer atti- tudes and that gives you a pretty good indication of where ag is. I think this (sales trend) is real and not pan- demic driven.”
Four-wheel drive tractor sales jumped the most of any category with a gain of 38.2% the past six months compared to last year.
“You don’t buy a combine or a tractor on a whim,” Blades said. “For farmers to make the purchase, they’ve got to feel pretty good about what their business looks like.”
AEM’s monthly tractor and combine sales reports showed an increase in tractor sales that took off around June and
July of last year, although it was to a slightly different market.
“We really started to see strength in the tractor and combine market (at the begin- ning of summer 2020),” Blades said. “This was driven very much by under-40- horsepower tractors. It was a unique thing that had to do with people investing in their homes and property (during the pandemic). That’s driven the market the last year and a half (prior to the surge in ag sales).”
The uptick in sales contin- ues even as the equipment industry deals with ongoing issues in the supply chain, ranging from a shortage of everything from microchips, steel, labor and transporta- tion to uncomfortably tight supplies of foam seating. “The supply chain issues are real,” Blades said. “Fortunately, since ag is considered an essential business, a lot of those disruptions we’ve been able to plan for, but it doesn’t make it any easier.”
This story was distributed through a cooperative proj- ect between Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Press Association. For more food and farming news, visit FarmWeekNow.com.Agricult ure equipment manufactur- ers continue to see supply chain issues, but the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ mid-year tractor and combine sales report shows it hasn’t stopped farmers and others from buying ag equipment.