Why Farmers are Worried: The State of Agriculture Equipment

Why Farmers are Worried: The State of Agriculture Equipment

Halfway through 2024, the agricultural equipment market is witnessing some significant shifts. Falling crop prices, among other economic factors, are leaving agriculture equipment sellers with an excess of unsold equipment, according to a recent article by Reuters. In addition, Fusable’s Jon Wommack, Editor for IronGuides, reports that “Equipment manufacturers have halted production and laid off workers across various sectors. OEMs are tightening their belts in anticipation of what’s to come,” in his latest UET News.

To cope with the surplus of used equipment on the market, dealers are discounting machines, suspending new orders, and sending more machines to auction knowing the grim outcoming they will most likely face. Sometimes it is better to cut bait and take the loss now than to hold the piece, pay the holding costs, and still take the hit at the block.

Row of agricultural tractors for sale

“The slower equipment sales are a knock-on effect of corn and soy prices dropping to more than three-year lows as U.S. farm income plummets, forcing equipment makers and dealers to pivot quickly after a period of booming business,” so states Bianca Flowers and Renee Hickman in the recent Reuters report.

What are the hidden factors that have farmers so worried?

  1. Market Oversupply and Falling Crop Prices: The agricultural equipment market is experiencing significant oversupply. Falling crop prices have left farmers with less income to invest in new machinery, leading to a buildup of unsold inventory. “Agricultural machinery sales have slowed down considerably due to the dramatic decline in crop prices,” notes the 2024 outlook report by Ag Equipment Intelligence. This oversupply results in heavy discounting and increased reliance on auctions to clear excess stock.
  2. Technological Advancements and Obsolescence: Rapid advancements in agricultural technology are another factor impacting resale values. Newer models equipped with the latest technology render older models less desirable, causing a drop in their resale prices. Farmers and dealers need to stay informed about these technological trends to avoid holding onto depreciating assets for too long.
  3. Economic and Environmental Policies: Policies affecting farming subsidies, tariffs, and environmental regulations also play a crucial role. Changes in these policies can either positively or negatively impact the agricultural sector’s financial health, thereby influencing equipment values. According to the OECD, environmental policies can impose additional costs on businesses, requiring investments in pollution abatement and innovation to meet new standards​.

How can farmers quickly adapt to these changes?

Navigating these complex challenges requires proactive strategies and regular check-ins using reliable data.

1. Monitoring Market Indicators:

Keeping a close watch on market indicators such as crop prices, farm income levels, and equipment sales data can provide early warnings of value changes. Tools like EquipmentWatch’s Market Report and Iron Solution’s Used Equipment News can offer valuable insights into these trends. By analyzing such data, stakeholders can make informed decisions about when to buy, sell, or hold equipment.

EquipmentWatch Market Report
Iron Solutions Used Equipment Trends

2. Valuation Tools and Forecasting Models:

The tools provided by Fusable’s suite of products like EquipmentWatch includes advanced valuation models and forecasting tools that help predict future equipment values based on current market conditions and historical data. These tools are essential for planning purchases, sales, and auction strategies.

The future of agriculture equipment is shaped by a complex interplay of market trends, technological advancements, and policy changes. By staying informed and leveraging tools from Fusable like those offered by EquipmentWatch and IronGuides, stakeholders can navigate these challenges and seize opportunities for growth. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for optimizing equipment management strategies and ensuring long-term success in the agricultural sector.

  1.  Focus: Too many tractors: As boom times fade, farm equipment piles up
  2.  Purdue Agricultural Economics Report: Insights and outlooks
  3.  The economic impacts of environmental policies: Key findings and policy implications

At EquipmentWatch, we analyze equipment values on a regular basis with our monthly Market Reports. More in-depth reports such as The State of the Construction Equipment Economy aim to arm you with the insights you need to make quality, informed decisions about how to manage your heavy equipment. EquipmentWatch can help you with the data you need now to set accurate rates, value your fleet, make disposition decisions, and understand when to rent equipment. We are also ready to be your principal data provider for any AI-focused projects you take on in the future. For more information on the data solutions offered by EquipmentWatch call us at (888) 307-1713.