As the organic industry continues to grow, the farm equipment industry is also beginning to adjust to meet the specific needs of organic growers. Making specific considerations for the organic sector is a relatively new approach for equipment manufacturers. At the recent Organic Grower Summit, AGCO’s Director of Sales-Southwest Region, Greg Milstead noted that the organic sector is an exciting market for the future.
“For us, as a manufacturer, we’ve got to find ways that produce equipment that help that industry,” said Milstead. “It’s everything from machines that are sealed, it might be electric machines, it might be organic oils that are running in the machines and things of that nature that have that compatibility. So, it’s something that we’re all interested in that’s for sure.”
The equipment needs for farmers in areas such as the Midwest can be significantly different than growers in California, not only in crop type but also farming practices. For the most part, GUY noted that organic farmers are typically going to be operating smaller, high-crop tractors. “A lot of the 110, 130-horse tractors are probably predominant for organic farming; and again, most of its going to be in the high-crop configuration for the most part,” said Milstead.
A common theme among the entire farm equipment industry has been the increased pressure that has resulted from ongoing trade issues. While some of the trade issues are beginning to stabilize, Milstead expressed confidence that the farm equipment industry will adjust to meet the needs of growers moving forward.
“I think this high-stakes poker of the trade disputes is going to find its way, it just can’t happen soon enough,” said Milstead. “I think we’re seeing a new normal with some of the tractor industries in particular, but there are some headwinds that are out there, so we’re all cautiously optimistic.”