The challenges facing North American agriculture right now, from the many trade disputes to uncooperative spring weather, have an effect on just about every aspect of the industry. This is especially true of farm machinery and what farmers are -- or in some cases, are not -- buying when it comes to their equipment needs.
Sales were mostly lower in July 2019 compared to the previous year with combines and four-wheel-drive tractors down but mid-range tractors slightly higher, according to the July Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) U.S. Ag Tractor and Combine Report.
The sale of four-wheel-drive tractors decreased 4.7% in July 2019 report compared to a year earlier. U.S. July self-propelled combine sales were also down, decreasing 25.9%.
Total U.S. two-wheel-drive tractor sales were also lower, coming in at 0.1% lower compared to July 2018. Sales of two-wheel-drive tractors under 40 horsepower fell 0.6%, and sales of 100-plus-horsepower tractors declined 9.8%.
The news isn't all negative in the U.S. July report, though. U.S. sales of 40- to 100-horsepower two-wheel-drive tractors actually grew 4%.
"To keep the U.S. agriculture economy strong, we're encouraging a swift passage of USMCA and continued focus on renewable fuels to help provide some stability for farmers in the months ahead," Curt Blades, AEM senior vice-president of ag services, said in a recent news release.
While there was at least one positive in the U.S. report, there were no such rays of sunshine in the AEM Canada Ag Tractor and Combine Report. All sales numbers decreased from July 2018 to July 2019.
Total two-wheel-drive Canadian sales were down 11.6% from last year. Under 40 horsepower was down 11.1%, 40 to 100 horsepower was 10.8% lower and over 100 horsepower declined 15%.
Four-wheel-drive farm tractor sales were also lower. Sales of four-wheel-drive tractors were down a brisk 32% from the previous year.
As with ag tractors, self-propelled combine sales numbers in Canada were also lower. Self-propelled combines were down a whopping 43.8% from July 2018.
AEM is the North-America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the U.S. supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year, according to AEM.
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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