After nearly two years of rising small-tractor sales in the United States, March marked a sharp decline in the sale of tractors under 100 horsepower, according to the March 2022 Ag Tractor and Combine Report published Monday by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
AEM's monthly tractor report recorded March 2022 sales of tractors under 40 hp were down 25.5% compared to March 2021. March sales of tractors 40-100 hp fell 14.1% compared to March 2021. For the year to date, sales of tractors under 40 hp were down 10.8% compared to the first three months of 2021. Similarly, year-to-date sales of tractors 40-100 hp are down 5.8% compared to the January-through-March time frame in 2021.
One month's data does not make a trend.
While small-tractor sales have been strong for several years, this part of the industry has been showing some weakening in the past two months. It will take another two or three months to better understand the direction of small-tractor sales.
One category that put up good numbers of late continues to do so: sales of two-wheel-drive tractors of 100-plus hp. These are tractors performing lighter fieldwork and utility chores around the farm and ranch.
Sales of 100-plus-hp tractors rose 7% in March compared to March 2021. For the first three months of the year, sales are up 13% during the same period in 2021.
Four-wheel-drive tractors did not fare as well. The number of units moving onto U.S. farms declined 2% in March, compared to March 2021. For the year, sales are off 0.7% compared to the first three months of 2021.
The final equipment category measured in the monthly report is combines.
March combine sales fell 10.2% compared to March 2021. For the year, January-through-March sales are down 19.2% from the year prior.
Dan Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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