Report: Combine Sales Soar in October

October US Combine Sales Up More Than 77% From Year Ago

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers reports that combine sales rose 77.4% in October, compared to October 2021, perhaps reflecting demand for the newest harvesting technologies. (Photo courtesy of AGCO Fendt)

The October U.S. Tractor and Combine Report reported sharp gains in combine sales -- up 77.4% over October 2021 -- and in the sale of 100-plus-horsepower tractors. The monthly report, produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), tracks sales of combines and several categories of tractors by horsepower range and by a single four-wheel-drive segment.

Total U.S. ag equipment unit sales stayed above the five-year average for a third month out of the seven, going back to April 2022, AEM reports. Given that, U.S. total farm tractor sales still fell 10.8% for the month of October compared to 2021.

That number largely reflects tepid sales of less-than-40-horsepower tractors -- a category where sales actually boomed during much of the COVID pandemic. For October 2022, sales of less-than-40-horsepower tractors declined by 23.6% compared to October 2021. It's a similar story for all of 2022 for those tractor types. Under-40-horsepower-tractor sales are off 18.1% for the year through October.

Manufacturers reported that U.S. combine sales were 1,678 units in October, up 732 units from the same month in 2021. It's a big number. For the first 10 months of 2022, combine sales are up 16.2% -- 6,221 units this year compared to 5,356 units sold over the first 10 months of 2021.

Except for those 40-horsepower-and-under tractors, sales in all other tractor categories tracked by AEM were up, compared to October 2021. Mid-range 40- to 100-horsepower two-wheel-drive tractor sales rose 3.2% in October compared to a year earlier. Sales of tractors 100-plus horsepower were up 25.5% over October 2021. Four-wheel-drive tractor sales were up 9.4% in October compared to the same month in October 2021.

For the year, January through October, total tractor sales are down 14% compared to the same period in 2021. By category, under-40-horsepower tractor sales are down 18.1%, 40- to 100-horsepower tractors are down 10.6%, and sales of four-wheel-drive tractors are down 6.7%.

Up for the year are sales of 100-plus-horsepower tractors, a category producing strong results for several months in a row. For those units, sales are up 13.9% January through October, compared to the same 10 months in 2021.

"With all the new technology available, we're happy to see farmers being able to take advantage of the technology on modern harvesters and tractors," Curt Blades, AEM's senior vice president, industry sectors and product leadership, said in a release. "The drop in the U.S. sub-40-horsepower segment continues the trend we've been expecting given the significant growth in that segment driven by consumer spending changes during the pandemic. Despite the year-over-year reduction in sales, small tractor sales remain above (the) five-year average."

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Dan Miller