“We have adjusted our 2015 forecast down. We originally thought 15% but are now plugging in 25% off. Grain prices continue to slide, section 179 is in limbo and farmer need or excitement is not there. We can absorb the loss of wholegoods sales, but like most dealers, we are really watching our parts and service numbers. They need to at least stay steady.”
— Todd Channell, Farmers Equipment Inc., Urbana, Ohio
“We have been fortunate so far in 2015. Our wholegoods business is up 30% through April, but I can see the brick wall coming at us over the next couple of months. We have some large May-July 2014 months to overcome, and I really don’t see us holding those numbers. At best, I expect to be flat by the end of December. Initially, I projected a 5-7% increase. We are in the process of aligning our inventories now for the expected fall off in sales as we maneuver through the year.”
— Dave Colvin, Lowe & Young Inc., Wooster, Ohio
“We anticipated a drastic slowdown in new sales for 2015, so we are still focusing on increasing used sales. As of today everything is playing out how we expected it to, no surprises.”
— Darren Nickel, Greenvalley Equipment, Morden, Man.
“We have adjusted for the 2015 year. Stock inventory is much lower in higher dollar equipment. We are focusing our efforts on cattle markets such as haying equipment, skid steers and manure spreaders. We have canceled all high horsepower tractor orders and will carry minimal tillage this year.”
— TJ Hurkes, Hurkes Implement Co., Watertown, S.D.
“We have revised our sales numbers down a little. This is mainly due to the California drought and the uncertainty of water. Buyers are being very cautious. More acres coming out of hay production and going into nut production is hurting us also. I was looking at some stats, and in 2006 there were 931,400 acres of alfalfa in California. In 2014 there were only 645,481 acres. With the drought and nut acreage, it’s likely down another 100,000 acres.”
— George Killbride, Krone California, Turlock, Calif.
“Yes, we have increased our forecast due to growth opportunities and market demand.”
— Doug Tibben, Canada West Harvest Center, Emerald Park, Sask.
“Yes, we have had to adjust the total new agricultural wholegoods down because of the current dairy market. We have also adjusted down the margin on used equipment sales because of the competitive situation on used. We have not changed our service and parts forecast.”
— James Sommer, Service Motor Co., Dale, Wis.
“Our sales are trending lower than expected. We are now looking for 25% reduction.”
— Chris Baxla, Baxla Tractor Sales Inc., Seaman, Ohio
“We’re looking for a large downturn this year. The economy is trending down in this area. Sales are off sharply.”
— Jack Jones, Richland Equipment, Centerville, Miss.
“We have adjusted our forecast up in hay tools like small square balers, round balers, disc mower conditioners and self-propelled windrowers due to tremendous rain that we’ve received, relieving some of our drought stress. The rest of our forecast remains relatively the same.”
—Shawn Skaggs, Livingston Machinery, Chickasha, Okla.
“We expect our 2015 sales forecast to hold for the year. We enjoy a very diversified ag territory.”
— Jim Hale, Washington Tractor, Aberdeen, Wash.
“We haven’t made any adjustments. When we were planning for 2015, we took a pretty conservative approach on wholegoods sales. We took forecasts from the majors and applied it to our numbers, and we came out with a plan that almost mirrored our 2008 numbers, which isn’t too bad. So far, we are ahead of plan and ahead of 2014 in terms of wholegoods margin dollars, but this could just be timing due to an earlier spring. We foretasted a moderate after market sales increase for 2015 and feel we will be very close.”
— Tom Stannard, Wellington Implement, Wellington, Ohio
“From the service side, we are up higher than we ever have been and certain segments of our sales definitely have vastly improved. We look forward to a record year in service, sales and parts this year. Excellent customer service from my shop bleeds over into sales and parts to become a win-win situation here at Coblentz Equipment.”
— Dave Camp, Coblentz Equipment, Montgomery, Ala.
“No, I have not changed my forecast for machinery sales. As a matter of fact I bumped it up a little for 2015. Obviously, I am an optimist and believe that we will see strong sales this year in Oregon. So far this has been the case and hopefully continues throughout the year. There is obvious fear among growers and dealers alike with our water situation statewide. With that said, we cannot stop crop production and just sit on our hands.
“If we have water we are going to utilize it and continue to move forward in hopes that this shortage will turn around. Talking with our growers and making sure that we are offering the correct products will be a key point in making sure we are maintaining our sales goals.”
— Reed Grote, Ag West Supply, Madras, Ore.
“We have adjusted our sales forecast to down by 30% due to the fact farmers are telling us they are not buying because of the fact that cash isn’t flowing with commodity prices being so low.”
— Jan Rude, Titan Machinery, Grand Forks, N.D.
“On the precision farming side, we are expecting our aftermarket or add-on systems to sell as well as last year. I am seeing/expecting a drop in factory complete systems because of slower large equipment sales.”
— Darren Bald, Great Lakes New Holland, Mitchell, Ont.
“We didn’t forecast our orders down, but up! We did increase our advertising, and it has helped tremendously to maintain our ground and keep sales where they should be. It doesn’t make sense to ‘cower in fear’ because our national news media outlets portray how terrible the times are. We have to help customers get over the fear of investing in new equipment and show them it helps save them money in the long run. Our market is outdoor turf equipment, zero-turn mowers and trimmers.
“Yes, we did spend more than 25% more in advertising, to be at a 16% increase, as opposed to last year, but it’s a business trade off. Businesses that have been around for many years can’t sit back and wait in fear, because if you do you will eventually die! In a nutshell, advertise!”
— Rick Manning, Fire Fighter Products Inc., Williams, N.C.
“This year looks very different than the last few years. With the snow melting early farmers hit the field earlier than the previous years. With that, they found out the ground was very wet and cold. The seeds were in and now they are worried about Jack Frost coming on the weekend. With day time temps ranging from 7-15 C (45-59 F) and night time lows of -4 to 0 C (25-32 F), farmers are on the edge of their seats. The markets are very low, and with farmers buying a lot of equipment in the past few years they are looking to tighten up the wallet. I believe that the market will settle into these prices for the next few years.
— Perry Berezowski, Rocky Mountain Equipment, Yorkton, Sask.
“With our customers’ net income going to near zero and considering that they bought a lot of iron in the last 5 years, we will continue to see erosion in our sales. Dealers also have a lot of late model used backing up on lots, causing the price difference for new equipment to grow and getting out of reach for producers.”
— Chuck Endres, Mid-State Equipment, Columbus, Wis.
“Hay equipment demand has increased because of calf prices. The disadvantage is hay equipment manufacturers build to orders not projections. The local dealers do not have extra capital to invest in speculation. The local dealers are only as good as their distributors upstream. Dealers need to become their own distributors if they want to take advantage of these cattle prices and increased demand. The best deals are coming out of Poland now. There are good deals still in Europe because of the strong U.S. dollar. Much of the hay technology has come from Europe so importing from Europe does not hurt U.S. jobs. Much of the major name manufacturers’ hay equipment is made for them in Europe.”
— Mark Carter, Ironpeddler LLC, Johnson City, Tenn.
“We do expect sales to be flat or slightly down for 2015 in our market area.”
— Wayne Feltz, Great Lakes New Holland, Mitchell, Ont.