Sales of farm equipment continue to rise

Sales of farm equipment have improved so far this year.
Sales of farm equipment have improved so far this year.
Farm equipment sales posted gains in September, according to a recent report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Overall sales of two-wheel drive tractors were up 2 percent during the month when compared to the same time last year. Four-wheel drive tractors saw an increase of 20.5 percent, while self-propelled combines were up 11.6 percent.

On a year-to-date basis, almost every type of farm equipment monitored by the AEM has seen increases in sales. Overall tractor transactions are up 2.5 percent, while combines saw a 3.5 percent improvement when compared to the first nine months of 2009.

According to Creighton University's Rural Mainstreet Index, farm equipment sales during the month continued to remain above growth neutral at 56.2. That represents a significant jump from the 52.6 posted in August.

However, overall conditions for the rural economy in September were below growth neutral for the third-straight month, as businesses continue to face hardship. This is despite the fact the agriculture sector posted healthy gains overall.

What remains to be seen is how this year's harvest may affect farm equipment sales, especially in the face of increased global grain demand.