The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has been documenting the significant grown in tractor sales so far in 2021. How big are we talking? Total farm tractor unit sales are up more than 50 percent in the U.S., and nearly 60 percent in Canada, according to the AEM Ag Tractor Combine Report released monthly.
And a lot of this is being driven by smaller machines — like the compact and subcompact vareity.
“For the last 12 months we’ve seen a dramatic rise in under-40-horsepower, or small tractor sales in North America, both U.S. and Canada,” said Curt Blades, Senior VP of Ag Services for AEM. “This is due largely to a lot of the industries that have done very well during the pandemic, like luxury items or things that have to do with the home.”
Small tractors fit well in that category.
Related: Machinery guide: Types of tractors
Small-tractor sales that have been spiking are largely going to the suburbs with larger lots to help homeowners haul rocks and dirt, work around trees, and overall improve the property. However, starting later in 2020, larger row-crop and articulated 4WD tractors have also enjoyed increasing sales success.
According to the trade organization, one reason has been the gradual increase, over the past five years, of the average age of the ag fleet in both the U.S. and Canada. However, with commodity prices increasing, and trade difficulties starting to ease, not only is the replacement market doing well, but farmers are upgrading their operations with newer technology.“
We’re seeing an increase in commodity prices. We’re seeing some of the uncertainty of trade wane,” Blades said. “As a result, people are willing to invest a little more in their farming operations and we’re seeing that reflected in capital equipment.”
There has been some difference in the past 12 months between sales in the U.S. and Canada, however, Blades says it’s typical for one market to “lead” the other.
“In this current recovery, we’ve seen the U.S. has been leading Canada,” says Blades. “But both markets are particularly strong right now on both sides of the border.”
Blades noted that equipment inventories have been reduced significantly through these sales trends. However, he said dealers are being proactive, especially when it comes to keeping parts for their service centers in stock, but farmers looking to buy new machines may have to order several months ahead of expected delivery.