For 2013, North American farm equipment dealers are forecasting a 2% growth in overall sales, according to the most recent Dealers’ Sentiment & Business Conditions Update survey. This was down from 3% in September.

The monthly survey is conducted by Ag Equipment Intelligence and Cleveland Research Co. to provide ag marketers with a snapshot of current dealer sentiments and their outlook for coming months. 

Much of the dealer commentary about 2013 bears out the lowered outlook for the year ahead as “uncertainty” is the watchword going into the new selling season. Here’s a unedited sampling of what we’re hearing from dealers about the year ahead.

“I am expecting next year to be flat, customers are not going to be as willing to spend money and grow their business when there is still a lot of uncertainly in the market. Tax policy is not clear and it doesn't create an environment that encourages people to spend money. Commodity prices should continue to be strong and that will help.”

“Next year is up in the air with uncertainty around the Farm Bill and I have heard predictions that we are looking at another dry year, which isn't positive. Overall though next year looks pretty good and I think we will run fairly close to this year.”

“Things look good heading into next year and I am expecting a strong planting season but there is still some uncertainty around the Farm Bill and tax policies. We also need to see where commodity prices are going to land. I am thinking next year looks flat.”