Tractor Sales Strong; Combines Down

August Tractor Sales Continue 2023 Winning Streak; Combine Sales Decline Slightly

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Sales of 100-plus-horsepower and four-wheel-drive tractors were up strongly in August, compared to August a year ago. (Photo courtesy of Case IH)

August ag tractor and combine sales were much the same as they have been all year: Sales of two-wheel-drive tractors 100 horsepower and above and four-wheel-drive tractors rose again last month compared to August 2022. The one change was in combines sales. Strong all year, combine sales marked a slight decline in August.

Monthly tractor and combine sales numbers are tracked and reported by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

According to AEM, August sales of heavy, four-wheel-drive tractors rose 21.4% -- or 55 tractor units -- compared to August 2022. For this year, January through August, four-wheel-drive tractor sales have risen 34.1% compared to the first eight months of 2022. In actual numbers, manufacturers have sold 645 more units during the first eight months of 2023 compared to sales in the same months in 2022.

Two-wheel-drive tractor sales rose 7.5% in August compared to the same month last year. In actual numbers of tractors, that's up 149 units over August 2022. For the year, January through August, two-wheel-drive tractor sales are up 7.6%, or 1,199 tractors, compared to the same eight months in 2022.

Sales of smaller tractors, 100 horsepower and below, remain down as they have all year. Under-40-horsepower tractor sales are down 11.6% for the year, compared to the first eight months of 2022. Sales of tractors mounting 40- to 100-horsepower engines are down 7.7% this year compared to the first eight months of 2022.

August combine sales went down a bit, about 2.4%, or 19 combines, compared to August 2022. It may be a reasonable expectation that sales are down as harvest puts farmers in the field, not in the showroom. But one month does not make a trend. Year to date, sales of combines are up nearly 32% compared to the first eight months of 2022.

Decent commercial ag tractor and combine sales are evidence of farm managers' desire to replace their older fleets. Industry analysts say tractor and combine sales also are evidence of managers moving to adopt the technologies found on new combines, tractors and, increasingly, the implements they pull.

"North American row-crop farmers continue to add and adopt new technology to their equipment fleets to help reduce costs and improve yields," Curt Blades, senior vice president, industry sectors and product leadership, said in the AEM release. "The appeal of the newer equipment centers on improved fuel efficiency, better GPS technology, and improved automation features, which is why farmers are continuing to make these investments."

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Dan Miller