2010 is almost history, and overall things have been reasonably good on the agricultural front. Commodity prices aren’t too bad—although they could always be better. And depending on which expert prediction you read, there is a fair chance that will continue. Farm machinery manufacturers think so too.
Here’s how John Deere’s fourth quarter financial report put it, “Worldwide sales of Deere’s Agriculture and Turf Division are forecast to increase by 7 to 9 percent for full-year 2011, benefiting from generally favourable global farm conditions. Farmers in most of the company’s key markets are experiencing solid levels of income due to strong global demand for agricultural commodities…” The other major manufacturers have seen good sales this year as well, and they are generally just as optimistic about the future.
According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), sales of four-wheel drive tractors and combines in Canada have been strong through 2010, seeing year-to-date increases to the end of November of 11.1 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively. Overall, though, Canadian tractor sales are down slightly due to a significant decline in the 40 to 100 horsepower utility tractor segment.
But as the year draws to an end, manufacturers have to be pretty happy with their sales results. And the big three continue look at growing and expanding into underdeveloped markets like China and South America; as they do, we will likely see a lot of interesting news on the machinery front in 2011.
And speaking of news, keep an eye on this website and our print issues; we’ll keep you posted on how things develop as the major manufacturers continue to battle it out to try and win the hearts and minds of farmers the world over. There will also be some great how-to articles appearing over the next few months in the Machinery and Shop section of the print edition; you won’t want to miss any of it.
So as this year draws to a close, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.