U.S. agricultural sales numbers for tractors and combines were up in almost every category, according to the latest Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) sales data.
“Although the overall numbers continue to be strong, it is a mixed bag when you get into specific categories. The Under-40 horsepower tractors continue to be solid and are a reflection of the overall economy,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president of agriculture. “However, farmers across the country continue to face long-term uncertainty with reinvestments in their operations with lower commodity prices and continuing concerns over trade and tariffs.”
Total two-wheel-drive tractors experienced an 11.8 percent growth in sales from April of 2018. Specifically, under-40 horsepower tractor sales grew 16.6 percent, 100-plus-horsepower tractor sales grew 6.6 percent, and 40- to 100-horsepower tractors were the only tractor to see a decline in sales at a small 1.8 percent decrease.
Additionally, four-wheel-drive tractor sales saw a 32.2 percent growth from April of 2018. Between the increase of sales between total two-wheel-drive tractors and four-wheel-drive tractors, overall farm tractor sales experienced 12% growth. However, self-propelled combines did see a 4.2 percent drop in sales.
Canadian sales numbers, on the other hand, continue to struggle, raising concern at AEM. Under-40 horsepower tractors were the only category to see growth compared to April of 2018, at a 16.1 percent increase. Every other category experienced a decrease in sales, resulting in a 1.5 percent drop in total two-wheel-drive tractors and a 15.7 percent drop in four-wheel-drive tractors. Likewise, self-propelled combines dropped 26.7 percent in sales.
“While numbers were up for the U.S. in April, the ongoing trade war has us concerned about the overall farm machinery market moving forward,” Blades said. “Farmers throughout the Midwest are in the middle of planting their 2019 crops. There are a number of uncertainties impacting the value of this crop — including the ability to trade with China. These uncertainties in the market can potentially have a negative impact on overall equipment sales.”