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Farm equipment dealers say sales still strong

Friday, May 8, 2009

Grain prices were nearly twice as high last year.
Grain prices were nearly twice as high last year.

Farm machinery dealers say the spike in commodities prices last year may be keeping their sales up, as farmers had the cash on hand to make purchases of tractors and other essential equipment.

Record prices for grains last year put some farmers in a good position, despite the downturn in prices this year.

But not all agriculture producers fared well - high grain prices put a pinch on dairy farmers and cattle ranchers, for instance. Grain markets last year were going up and grain stocks in 2008 were worth twice as much as the previous year.

Still, equipment dealers in South Dakota said they have done well this year, according to a report from the Associated Press.

One dealer said the spring planting season kicked off well, with smaller tractors selling well. Higher horse power tractors are not selling as well as smaller models, the dealer said.

An April survey of rural bankers found that lenders were concerned about lower farm equipment sales hurting the agricultural economy.

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