MILWAUKEE – Unit sales of agricultural tractors and self-propelled combines in August 2020 were positive for the 5th month in a row in the U.S. and stayed above the previous year for the third consecutive month in Canada, according to the latest data from the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

U.S. total farm tractor sales rose 12.8% in August compared to 2019, while U.S. self-propelled combine sales grew 1%. Four-wheel-drive units grew for the first time in the U.S. in August, climbing 14.1% to 218 units, shrinking the year-to-date decline to 9.7%. The 100+ horsepower segment remains the only slow spot in the market, with 7.8% fewer of them finding new owners in August. Total YTD farm tractors out the door are up 14% in 2020, while combines are now up 3.6% on the year.

For Canada, August tractor sales grew across the smaller-unit segments, leading to an overall gain in tractor sales of 22%. That grows the YTD unit sales gain for farm tractors to 6.9%, while combines monthly sales growth of 35.8 % cut total YTD losses nearly in half to 11.5%.

“We’re not surprised with seeing growth in combines pick up, with USDA predictions of larger harvest sizes for this year,” said Curt Blades, senior vice president of Ag Services at the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers. “We’re still watching the 100-horse and 4WD sales closely, as those are the units that indicate how the large-field farmers are feeling, especially as they start planning for winter and cover crops, and next year’s plantings. However, this month’s overall equipment sales remain above the 5-year average, and we’re pleased with that.”