The latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) revealed strong farm machinery sales for the month of May. U.S. sales of self-propelled combines gained 52 percent over the same month a year ago and are up 26.5 percent so far this year. Two-wheel drive (2WD) tractor sales gained 17 percent compared to May 2017, gaining 20 percent in both the 100-plus horsepower (HP) and under-40 HP categories. Year-to-date sales, through May, for 2WD tractors were up 5 percent over last year. Mahindra USA President Mani Iyer said his company will roll out new products for 2018, as he expects it will continue to be a “good year for tractor manufacturers.” Curt Blades, AEM's senior vice president of ag services, credited the industry growth to producer “optimism” and said tax reform has helped. But he expressed concerns that the industry may suffer soon due to steel and aluminum tariffs levied in early March. Blades said those tariffs pose “a challenge for farmers and manufacturers.” The only noted May decline was in U.S. sales of 4-wheel drive (4WD) tractors, which fell 6 percent compared to the same month last year. However, 4WD tractors still showed year-to-date growth of 2 percent. For the full report, click here.
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