The surge in commodity prices over the last 8 months has led farmers across the country to upgrade equipment. However, small tractor sales have also been on the rise as homeowners with larger properties have been buying more as well.
Curt Blades, the Senior Vice President of Ag Services with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, says, “We’re operating in a very interesting market right now.”
In the first quarter of 2021, total farm tractor unit sales are up more than 50 percent in the U.S. and nearly 60 percent in Canada. Those numbers come from the recent AEM Ag Tractor Combine Report that comes out every month. “For the last 12 months, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the under-40 horsepower, or small tractor sales in North America, both the U.S. and Canada,” Blades says.
“This is due largely to a lot of the industries that have done well during COVID-19, like luxury items or things that have to do with the home,” he adds. Small tractors fall into that category. Small tractor sales are spiking as they head to suburbs with larger lots to help homeowners haul rocks and dirt, work around trees, and improve their property.
Later in 2020, larger row-crop and articulated four-wheel-drive tractors also enjoyed rising sales numbers. Over the last five years, the average age of the ag fleet grew in both the U.S. and Canada. As commodity prices rose and trade difficulties eased, not only is the replacement market doing well, but farmers are upgrading their operations with newer technology.
We’re seeing an increase in commodity prices. We’re seeing some of the uncertainty of trade wane,” Blades said. “As a result, people are willing to invest a little more in their farming operations and we’re seeing that reflected in capital equipment.”
Blades adds that the increase in sales has reduced equipment inventories. However, he compliments dealers on being proactive, especially when it comes to keeping parts in stock. Those producers that are interested in buying new equipment though, he says, may see wait times of several months before equipment can be delivered.