AEM: Bump in tractor sales adds optimism to farm economy

An equipment specialist says an uptick in farm machinery sales points to a stronger farm economy.

Curt Blades is the senior vice president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

“A farmer doesn’t wake up tomorrow and decide to spend a half million dollars on a piece of equipment,” he said. “They have to think about it. For us to see 10% growth year over year, that’s a pretty good indication that there is some optimism.”

AEM’s June data shows total U.S. farm tractor unit sales turned positive for the first time in 2023, led by strength in large tractors and combines.

Blades tells Brownfield the outlook for tractor sales is strong the rest of the year.

“There’s a pretty much 1-to-1 relationship between the price of corn and the sales of tractors,” he said. “And then you add to that some really interesting technology that is just beginning to see the light of day.”

And, he says a decline in some ag input costs has helped improve farm income.

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