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Sales of self-propelled combines and larger tractors up in 2023
By Michele F. Mihaljevich
Indiana Correspondent

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Sales of self-propelled combines, four-wheel-drive and larger two-wheel-drive farm tractors were up last year over 2022, according to the latest numbers from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
Sales of smaller two-wheel-drive tractors were down, the organization said.
In its Jan. 11 release, AEM said sales of combines rose 1.7 percent last year, while four-wheel-drive tractor sales increased 31.7 percent. Two-wheel-drive tractors with 100 HP or more were up 5.2 percent. Two-wheel-drive tractors under 40 HP fell 10.7 percent, and those of 40-100 HP dropped 9.1 percent. Total farm tractor sales dipped 8.2 percent.
“Seeing year-over-year gains in U.S. sales of both combine harvesters and 100-plus tractors is a welcome sight as 2024 gets underway,” Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, said in the release. “And while several tractor segments fell last month versus 2023, we’re still confident in the strength of the equipment market and remain optimistic about its long-term growth.”
Kim Rominger, president and CEO of the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA), told Farm World that dealers had a very good year overall in 2023. Inventory was an issue, he noted, so price discounting was limited, which was good for dealers. The inability to get all the popular models – predominately in larger equipment such as four-wheel-drive tractors and some combines – was somewhat of an issue, Rominger said.
“Smaller tractor sales were hindered on the availability of attachments still impacted by production from some manufacturers,” he explained. “Also, popular models of industrial equipment like skid-steer loaders and mini excavators were in high demand and short supply.
“The smaller (tractor) units started to become available later in the season, which damped sales a bit. Dealers now have plenty of inventory of those units for the coming year. Popular models sold quickly as they came in. I am told that some manufacturers have sold out production of combines for next year. To some extent, inventory availability is just starting to recover from the COVID period.”
Farmers are looking for the latest technology when purchasing equipment, Rominger said. “Precision equipment likely is desired most by customers. The demand has increased as the use by customers increases.”
NAEDA represents more than 4,000 agriculture, industrial, forestry and outdoor equipment dealers in North America, according to the association’s website.
In early January, AEM released a list of four equipment manufacturing trends to watch in 2024 – cybersecurity, the ever-evolving regulatory environment, changing customer expectations and agriculture’s technological transformation.
“It’s crucially important for the industry to understand these trends and how they are expected to evolve over time,” AEM said in the release. “Perhaps more importantly, however, equipment manufacturers most possess a strong idea of how these trends will impact their organizations and the customers they serve.”
Rominger told Farm World that sales in 2024 will depend in large part on the economy.
“Interest rates are higher this year and it doesn’t look like that will be changed prior to the planting season beginning,” he said. “That puts pressure on the sale of new equipment, seeds, fertilizer and equipment loans. For the smaller units, home building and sales are one of the key factors to sales of the small tractor.”