With more cash in their pockets, farmers are spending it on tractors and other machinery - giving a boost to the rural economy and equipment makers such as John Deere Co.

Farmers are benefiting from two consecutive years of high crop prices and mostly higher milk prices.

Flush with cash, they're buying equipment and other things that were put on hold for a while.

When farmers have money, they're willing to spend it, said Bruce Jones, an agricultural economist at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Each dollar of net farm income results in an additional 60 cents of economic activity as farmers spend money in their local communities, according to UW research.

That translates to millions of dollars for the rural economy and urban centers as well, since most of the items farmers buy come from other places.

"There's quite a bit more cash out there" now compared with a few years ago, Jones said.