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Late-model planter tractors

Supplies of high-horsepower front-wheel drive tractors are tight.

The title of this story won’t be a surprise if you have already read my year-end “Steel Deals” analysis. Buyers unable to get brand-new tractors turned to the late-model used horsepower market and quickly cleaned out dealer and auction lots.

There is a silver lining to this dark cloud, however.

The 2021 high-horsepower front-wheel drives (FWD) are coming in on trade this month. Before harvest, more than 100 tractors only a year old were already on dealer lots with more expected to come in on trade as the year winds down.

The 2021 supply of new tractors sold out and are now being traded in for 2022 models — as new supplies allow.

I’ll admit to trying to put a good spin on a bad situation. Tractor supplies, regardless of age, are tight. Exacerbating the situation is a shortage of parts and metal, which is preventing manufacturers from meeting demand for new tractors.

Manufacturers would far rather be building tractors for a hungry market than making customers wait, says Curt Blades with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

After all, 2013 through 2019 represented lean years for manufacturers as well as their dealers.

“I would highly recommend that you work with your dealer and make a retail purchase order now for the machinery you need next spring,” says Doug Vahrenberg of Vahrenberg Implement in Higginsville, Missouri. “Manufacturers are putting a priority on retail sales to get the farmer the equipment they want.”

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