In the second quarter of 2021, money that had been diverted by COVID-19 from travel and other activities into the small tractor market began to return to normal use. Sustained gains in commodity prices, however, have resulted in farmers continuing their buying sprees for larger tractors and harvesters, as shown in AEM’s monthly Ag Tractor and Combine reports.
The under-40 horsepower tractor market has softened a bit compared with the big numbers from last year,” says Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Ag Service for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “However, row crop tractors sales have performed well in the second quarter.” He also says the numbers are positive for articulated four-wheel-drive tractors, and even combines are showing “signs of life.” The biggest drivers behind the big-ticket equipment sales are the higher than usual commodity prices and farmer confidence that those prices are going to stay there for a while.
However, the supply chain, especially when it comes to the availability of semiconductors, is restricting the available inventory of equipment across all segments. Total tractor inventory at the end of the second quarter of this year is down more than 37 percent compared to the same time last year. Blades notes the association is doing everything possible to help the industry get machines to dealer lots as quickly as possible.