Despite concerns about declining farm income and dwindling commodity prices, sales of farm tractors and combines all experienced modest bumps last year. According to data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, sales of combines and two- and four-wheel-drive tractors all increased between 3 percent to 5 percent in 2017. The biggest boost was in 2WD tractors with less than 40 horsepower, which increased 8.1 percent, leading 2WD tractors to a total sales increase of 4.5 percent after being offset by an 8.1 percent decline in sales of 2WD tractors of greater than 100 horsepower. Curt Blades, AEM senior VP for ag services, said combines and 4WD tractors also ended the year “on a positive note with modest gains,” giving the group a little hope for the new year. “While the downturn of 2016 carried over into 2017, it began to reverse as the year progressed,” he said. “With tax reform passed, we are cautiously optimistic for continued overall improvement in 2018.”

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