There is at least one sign of strength in the farm economy: Sales of combines, tractors and other farm equipment have risen this year, in some cases significantly. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers says sales of self-propelled combines are up more than 20 percent this year, compared to the first half of 2018. Sales of 4-wheel-drive and 2-wheel drive tractors have risen 5 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. “We view 2018 as a rebuilding year for agriculture; we’ve experienced a steadily improving economy, tax reform provides incentives and machines need to be replaced,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president for agricultural services.