In this Equipment Roundup, DTN/Progressive Farmer looks at ag-focused tractor and combine sales ending the year on an up note and AGCO scooping up 10 design and engineering awards.
LARGER-TRACTOR, COMBINE SALES STRONG, WHILE SMALL-TRACTOR SALES CONTINUE DOWNTREND
As 2022 comes to a close, U.S. ag tractor and combine sales look likely to break down into two groups. First, 100-plus-horsepower tractors and combines will post darn-good year-end numbers. And what about the second group -- smaller tractors and four-wheel-drive tractors? Not so much -- although those four-wheel-drives are a "maybe" or "soon-to-be" good news story.
First, those 100-plus-horsepower tractors. Demand for these tractors has been strong all year. In the latest numbers released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), observers will see that the trend has not changed. Sales of 100-plus-horsepower tractors were up in November by 6.2% over November 2021 -- 1,278 tractors sold, compared to 1,203 in November 2021. Year to date, January through November 2022, sales in this tractor class are up 13.3% compared to the same period in 2021.
It's a similar story with combines. For the first part of this year, there was not likely any combine manufacturer that would brag about sales. But since June, monthly sales versus the same month in 2021 have been on a healthy upward curve. In November, the story was no different. Self-propelled sales rose 8.3% compared to November 2021. Manufacturers pushed 314 combines out the door in November, compared to 290 in November 2021. For the 11 months reported in 2022, total combine sales are up 15.7% over the same period in 2021. That's nearly 1,000 more combines sold this year over last.
A bit of informed speculation would say that farmers are quickly rolling over one model year for the next, encouraged by industry incentives to do so, as well as their desire to buy the newest technology wired into their new combines. Healthy financials from Deere, CNH and AGCO would appear to underline the impact of a market with sales north of 6,500 units year-to-date.
Sales of four-wheel-drive tractors were up 7.1% in November, compared to November 2021. It's the second month in a row sales of these units have been up. The rest of the year has been more difficult for four-wheel-drives. The coming months will tell if the trend in big, four-wheel-drive tractors is going to continue.
Poor sales activity all year can be found in tractors below 100 horsepower, especially tractors less than 40 horsepower. Sales of less-than-40-horsepower tractors over the first 11 months of 2022 are down 18.8% compared to the same period in 2021. Sales of tractors 40 to 100 horsepower are down 10.8% January through November 2022 compared to the same period last year.
In 2022, sales of smaller tractors have been a complete reversal from those heart-of-COVID months. In late 2020 and 2021, sales of under-100-horsepower tractors were often particularly strong -- but not always. For example, in all of 2021, less-than-40-horsepower tractor sales were up 8.9% for the year compared to 2020 (and 2020 was a strong year). Similarly, all of 2021 sales of 40- to 100-horsepower tractors were up 10.3% over 2020. But by the end of 2021, a downward trend in under-100-horsepower sales was beginning to take shape.
"While the total sales markets are down, the sale of larger ag-focused equipment continues to be strong," Curt Blades, senior vice president, industry sectors and product leadership, said in an AEM release. "With the efficiency and yield gains in new row-crop tractors and harvesters, it's easy to see why those segments continue to grow."
AGCO EARNS 10 AE50 DESIGN, ENGINEERING AWARDS
AGCO Corp. received for 2023 10 AE50 Awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for design and engineering. Here they are:
-- Fendt 700 Gen7 Vario. Five models ranging from 203 to 283 engine horsepower with VarioDrive CVT, FendtONE operators' station, AGCO Power 7.5L engine, VarioGrip Central Tire Inflation System.
-- Geo-Bird from Fuse. Web app that automatically optimizes waylines for multiple fields and implements.
-- Pit Level Monitor Model AP-6010 from Automated Production Systems uses electronic pressure transducers to measure effluent depth in manure pits, early warnings of water leakage and remaining storage capacities below swine confinement facilities.
-- Massey Ferguson LB2200 Series Large Square Baler. New pickup design improves baler feeding while reducing noise. New axle and tire offerings with a single bogie suspension improve ground clearance and rideability. Common Electric Architecture provides greater information and control via ISOBUS terminal for Tractor Implement Management (TIM), bale length, bale eject, and bale chute fold.
-- Massey Ferguson WR Series Windrower. Up to 282 peak horsepower and closed-center hydraulic system for increased fuel efficiency and available header horsepower.
-- Recon SpraySense from Intelligent Ag. A retrofit sprayer product that measures pressure and flow at each nozzle to help ensure applications match targeted coverage and rates.
-- ReClaim (AGCO-owned Precision Planting). Replaces nozzle bar endcaps in sprayers and provides a return path back to the tank for improved product agitation and circulation, faster boom priming, and improved boom cleanout.
-- Precision Planting Radicle Agronomics. Fully automated soil laboratory with the ability to run hundreds of unattended samples. Cloud-based software connects all steps of the field-to-lab process.
-- Precision Planting EM HD. Liquid fertilizer controller and sensor that uses an electromagnetic flow sensor to provide row-by-row, high-speed liquid fertilizer rate control on row crop planters, side-dress implements, and strip-till implements.
-- Precision Planting Blockage Expansion Module (BXM). Monitoring component for non-singulated crop seeding implements that combines and connects multiple blockage sensors into a single connection point for 20/20 seed monitoring systems.
Dan Miller can be reached at email@example.com
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