Wisconsin farmers look to repair older equipment

Falling milk prices are hurting dairy farmers in Wisconsin.
Falling milk prices are hurting dairy farmers in Wisconsin.
Farmers in Wisconsin, facing pressures from falling agriculture prices, rising input costs and the tightening of credit, have resorted to fixing up old farm equipment rather than buying new.

Equipment dealers in the state report their sales are down as much as 70 percent from last year because dairy farmers are hurting from low milk prices, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"Their milk checks have been cut in half, and it's reflected in my business enormously," said Danny Strupp, an equipment dealer in Slinger, Wisconsin, the newspaper reported.

Strupp said business has picked up considerably in his repair shop. "Our repair shop is full right now. That work is what's keeping us going," Strupp said.

Farm equipment manufacturers have seen slumping sales this year. Sales in most farm equipment categories are expected to be down 10-30 percent this year, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

But some farm machinery, including combines, have seen sales growth this spring because profits from last year's high grain prices has kept demand up from large grain operations, according to the report.