Like other segments of the U.S. economy, farm equipment dealers have been impacted by supply chain disruptions caused by COVID.
During the MATE Show in Billings, C & B Operation’s Tim Schulz said these disruptions include everything from parts to new equipment.
“By and large it probably has a bigger effect on new products landing,” said Schulz. “Gators, tractors and haying equipment are certainly in short supply. We just got notification that we're going to be really short on balers this coming year. Retail is certainly taking priority. If folks are wanting to get equipment, you better go put a name on a purchase order and stroke a check and you'll have a better chance of getting it. And even then, it's still out several months or longer.”
He says rising input costs are another direct result of the supply chain disruptions.
“Obviously, the cost of inputs of equipment, as well as availability is certainly a struggle for guys that are needing to update,” said Schulz. “Additionally, some of the other inputs like fertilizer and fuel are a couple of the topics that always come up in conversations that have certainly went through the roof and pricing. So, hard decisions are having to be made and they're trying to figure out what really makes sense.”
He says the shortage of new equipment has created a red-hot market for used farm equipment.
“It certainly has the same effect,” said Schulz. “The shortage of new trickles down into the used. It's also improved or increased depending on how you want to look at it.”
According to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, overall ag tractor sales in the U.S. and Canada continued rising into January, while combine harvesters slowed for the month. Meanwhile, in 2021 tractor sales grew 10.3 percent compared to 2020, while combines saw 24.7 percent increase.