A DTN article says signs are showing that the farm machinery industry is starting to stabilize after prices had been free falling for some time. “We are seeing signs that after several years of steep declines, key agricultural markets may be stabilizing,” says Samuel Allen, John Deere Chairman, and CEO. That doesn’t mean farmers have started to replace the equipment bought during the most recent boom years of 2011-2013. Lower sales have led to layoffs, cutbacks, and tighter profit margins at farm equipment manufacturing sites. Sales numbers in the first quarter of 2017 offered some hope. AGCO reported an increase of 6.3 percent in North American sales. John Deere released second quarter sales numbers this week showing net income 62 percent higher than this time last year. However, that number does reflect some cost cutting measures taken by the company in recent months as well as non-ag sales numbers. The under-40 horsepower tractor market has been a bright spot for manufacturers. At the end of this year’s first quarter, sales were up 12 percent over the same time last year.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.