Despite the severe drought, a new report finds farm equipment sales remained strong across the U-S last year
Despite the severe drought, a new report finds farm equipment sales remained strong across the U-S last year. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers reports combine sales were nearly steady from the previous year, while tractor sales rose ten-percent. The group's senior vice president, Charlie O'Brien, credits farmers' confidence in the ag economy.
Charlie O'Brien, Assn of Equipment Manufacturers "tractor sales"
A recent federal report found 60-percent of the lower 48 states are still in drought, including all of Nebraska, a figure that's been virtually unchanged since July. Strong demand around the world for American corn, soybeans and other crops means high commodity prices and that's helped farmers keep their debt low. The result is there's money available to buy new machinery.
Farm equipment sales rose last year, even with the drought, in part, thanks to farmers' confidence in the ag economy. Charlie O'Brien, with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, says his outlook for the year ahead is "conservative optimism" -- conservative because he doesn't yet know the long-term effects of last year's drought.
O'Brien "the drought"
There's also concern about what might happen to the farm bill in Congress. For those reasons, he predicts farm equipment sales this year will be close to last year's, but O'Brien thinks "flat is good." The association has been tracking tractor and combine sales since the early 1970s.
(image courtesy of stock.xchng)
(courtesy of Nebraska Radio Network)