Tractor, Combine Sales Lose Steam in January Compared to a Year Ago

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Commercial farmers and small landowners purchased more than 16,000 tractors last month -- only 1.5% more than a year ago. (Photo courtesy of Case IH)

U.S. tractor and combine sales took a bit of a pause in January, according to a report released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

For the month of January 2022, total tractor sales in the U.S. rose a slim 1.5% compared to January 2021. Total tractors sold in January were 16,150 compared to 15,915 a year ago. The smallest tractor units counted in this survey, those 100-plus and below, make up nearly 90% of all tractor sales for the month.

Examining the January numbers more closely, the AEM data show 100-plus horsepower tractors were the top sellers for the month in percentage terms, compared to year-earlier sales. Sales of these tractors are up 10.8%, year over year. Dragging down overall tractor sales performance was 40- to 100-horsepower tractors. Sales of those units compared to January 2021 were down 2.8%.

Sales of four-wheel-drive tractors were down a slight 0.4% from a year ago, January (225 units sold last month compared to 226 last January). Sales of tractors 40 horsepower and below were up 2.0% for January, compared to a year earlier. That's a sharp slowdown from much of 2021.

The January combine sales number shows a sharp dip, down 41.4% last month compared to January 2021. The total number of combines sold in January was 205 compared to 350 in January 2021. The raw numbers may reflect sales made to farmers ahead of taxes. Combine sales in December 2021 were up more than 25% compared to December 2020. The percentage difference represented 128 more combines sold in December 2021 than the December before.

January cannot be taken in isolation. Last year was a good year for combine and tractor sales.

Nearly 360,000 total tractors and combines left dealer lots in 2021 in North America. U.S. and Canadian unit sales of ag tractors and combines finished 2021 with gains of more than 10% in nearly every segment in both countries.

The overall growth leader last year for tractors in the U.S. were 100-plus horsepower two-wheel-drive tractors, growing 24.1%, followed by articulated four-wheel-drive tractors, up 18.3%. Those numbers compared to sales in 2020.

Find that DTN/Progressive Farmer report about 2021 equipment sales here:….

Dan Miller can be reached at

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