Executives from two U.S. farm equipment manufacturers said that American agriculture is still strong, at a gathering of equipment dealers in the Australian territory of Queensland.
According to the Farm Online Stock Journal, the executives said the economy shows some positive signs even as commodity prices have dropped off from last year.
One executive told the Australian dealers that U.S. farmers remain strong due to better access to credit than other industries, although this executive said farmers have taken a wait-and-see approach to making purchases of equipment such as tractors and combines.
The executive said U.S. farmers, like other businesspeople, are making some decisions based on emotions due to the drumbeat of negative economic news, the news source reported.
Although commodity prices have fallen off, input costs have fallen as well, including fertilizer and fuel costs.
An executive from another farm equipment producer said U.S. farmers are faring adequately, if not a little bit better than normal.
The latest blow to the agriculture sector is the outbreak of a virulent influenza referred to as swine flu, which an Australian health official said should be called "North American influenza," Western Australia Today reported.