A representative of the nation’s largest farm equipment companies says supply chain challenges are hampering efforts to get new tractors into the hands of American producers.

According to September sales data compiled by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, total tractor sales dropped 12.8% in September 2022 compared to 2021 figures; year-to-date total tractor sales are even lower, suffering a 14.3% drop.

But different tractor categories are experiencing different levels of success thus far. Sales of four-wheel-drive tractors fell 33% year-over-year in September, but two-wheel-drive machines over 100 horsepower experienced 9.6% growth in the same month. Year-to-date figures paint a similar picture, albeit at lesser amounts; four-wheel-drive sales are down 10.6% while the high horsepower two-wheel-drive tractors are up 11.6%.

“The ag equipment market, as with most markets for manufactured goods, is turbulent,” said AEM’s Curt Blades in a statement. “Farmers want to take advantage of the efficiency gains and technology that new equipment brings to their operations, especially with commodity markets being as positive as they are. However, supply chain difficulties continue to weigh on our member manufacturers’ deliveries.”

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Supply and price of semiconductor chips have been called major factors in the supply chain challenges facing equipment companies. One AEM member (AGCO head Eric Hansotia) recently told Agri-Pulse the company recently paid $1,400 per chip – instead of the typical $10-$20 – to complete the building of some pieces of equipment.

Combines are another bright spot in the data with 6.6% year-over-year growth in September and a 3.4% increase in year-to-date sales.

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