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Tractor sales up, combine sales down

Jeff Caldwell 03/21/2012 @ 8:03am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Farmers are buying more tractors so far this year than they were a year ago, according to a report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) out this week.

As of last month, tractor sales in all size categories were up 7% over February 2011. That adds up to around 18,600 tractors sold so far in 2012 compared to just shy of 17,800 through February 2011.

Leading the sales increase in February is 2-wheel-drive 100+ horsepower tractors; the sales of these machines are up 14% over a year ago. Four-wheel-drive tractors were up 12% from last February, while 2-wheel-drive small tractors under 40 horsepower were actually down 2%. Add those numbers up with January sales and small tractors are up 9% for the year while 2-wheel-drive large tractor sales are up 6% and 4-wheel-drive tractors are down 11% through the first 2 months of the year versus the same period in 2011.

Combine sales are showing a different trend, however; for the month of February, these sales were down 54%, meaning a 52% decline for the first 2 months of the year. Sales of combines for that time period are just shy of 760.

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