Every once in awhile it's good to take a look at industry machinery trends. In the August report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers - called the Flash Report - there was solid news across most classes of machines in the latest report.
For the year to date through August, sales of equipment shows the following:
- Under 40 hp tractor sales are up 4.4% compared to the same period in 2009 - and that's good news since compact tractor sales had been soft the previous three years. While the rise is a comparison against a pretty soft sales year in 2009, it's a sign that this part of the market might have bottomed.
- 40 to 100 hp tractor sales are soft for the eight-month period compared to 2009 - although August showed a solid 10.6% sales gain.
- The over 100 hp tractor class - not including the big four-wheel drive articulated machines has seen an 8.3% rise through August. And in August alone, when compared to August 2009, sales are up 48.8%. That's a solid year-over-year jump for a single month.
- The big four-wheel drive tractors are moving off dealer lots faster this year too. Sales are up 18.1% for the first eight months of the year with August sales alone up 9.5%.
- And finally, combine sales continue strong with year-over-year sales up 1.7% and August sales up 9.9%.
When looking at the overall figures, when compared to 2009, sales are solid. However, looking at sales compared to the five-year average shows that 2010 is below par. Industry sales had been strong but trailed off in the last quarter of 2008 (when the Great Recession started). 2009 sales were the softest seen in three years. The 2010 rise in sales may be an indication of stronger sales in 2011. With crop prices where they are, chances are that farmers are willing to buy to get access to the right equipment to boost efficiency.
Judging from inventory figures in this latest report, chances are good that if there's a machine you need you can still find it this year.