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Iron sales remain a bright spot

The farm equipment and machinery sector continues to be a bright spot in a murky economy, and recent data shows 2010 will end up outpacing production and sales numbers for 2009.

A recent global get-together of machinery selelrs and marketers organized by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The Agrievolution Economic Working Group met late last month at a machinery show in Italy, and the ultimate takeaway of the meeting is that final sales numbers for 2010 will end up higher than the previous year, mainly because of stronger sales numbers in the U.S. and Europe.

The U.S. remains the second largest agricultural machinery market worldwide after Europe, due to the continuation of increased farm equipment sales, and U.S. sales of 100-horsepower tractors were up 27 percent in October 2010 over the same month last year, says Charlie O'Brien, AEM's vice president agricultural sector, in a recent AEM report. Combine sales also have been up, noted O'Brien. "Customers are purchasing equipment because there's pretty good optimism," O'Brien says in an AEM report.

AEM officials also say they noted an uptrend in farmer incomes over the last year, which continues to fuel optimism in the industry.

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