Tractor and combine sales in the U.S. are down slightly from a year ago, declining in March for the first time since July 2021. Total U.S. tractor sales fell 21.1% last month, compared to a year ago, while combine sales dropped 10.2%. Curt Blades, Association of Equipment Manufactures Senior Vice President [of Industry Sectors and Product Leadership], says sales remain above the five-year average.


“We actually saw a little bit of a decline, and really you have to put that in perspective of last year in March, we were actually seeing some really high sales numbers. So, even though we're seeing a little bit of a decline so far, year to date, we're still well above the five-year average. And well above where we were even in 2020.”

With news of supply chain issues for months, tractor and combine sales had been positive since mid-2020. Blades said the decline in sales is likely attributed to lower inventories.

“I think it's very clear that part of this has to do with the decrease in the inventory levels and really kind of the supply chain sort of catching up to us just a little bit. We've seen the supply chain challenges throughout the whole pandemic and even predating the pandemic, whether it's steel or transportation or labor, and the pandemic just sort of made them a little bit more real. What we're hearing from manufacturers and farmers, farm income showing that the demand is clearly there, it's just that sometimes the inventory is a little bit lighter, and I think that's reflected a little bit in these March numbers.”

With agriculture being a seasonal business and farmers at the start of planting season, Blades says manufactures and dealers are working closely together with farmers to ensure parts are available to minimize supply chain issues at the farm level.

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