AEM sees long-term optimism despite mixed tractor sales data

Farm machinery sales were a mixed bag in September, but an equipment specialist says there’s still some long-term optimism for the ag economy.

Curt Blades is the senior vice president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “You don’t buy an articulated four-wheel drive tractor on a whim. You’ve got to feel pretty good about your long-term view. Those are pieces of equipment that are a half million dollars-plus.”

AEM’s September data shows total U.S. farm tractor unit sales were down 4.3% year-over-year, but the four-wheel drive tractor segment had a notable upswing in both the U.S. and Canada.

Blades tells Brownfield he expects farmers to make more equipment purchases in 2024. “We’re obviously concerned about interest (rates), but at some point a farmer does need to make capital investment for the good of the operation and those continue to show up in the numbers.”

He says some agricultural input costs have decreased which has helped improve farm income.

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