MILWAUKEE — U.S. retail sales of tractors under 40 horsepower and 40-100 horsepower rebounded in August, while sales of the larger tractors as well as combines continued their double-digit declines, according to the latest monthly data from the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the leading trade organization for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

U.S. retail sales for 2WD tractors under 40 horsepower gained 21.2% in August compared to a 6.3% decline in July, with year-to-date sales up 11.0%.

While August sales of 2WD tractors 40-100 horsepower were down 0.7%, that compares to a 23.3% decline for July, improving the still-negative year-to-date numbers slightly to a minus 5.3%.

Monthly sales of the larger tractors and combines fluctuated a little from July, but the pace of year-to-date sales in August was virtually unchanged compared to July:

  • Sales of 2WD 100+ horsepower tractors in the U.S. dropped 27.0% for August, with August year-to-date sales down 24.2% (down 24.0% July YTD)
  • August 4WD tractor sales declined 48.1% year-over-year and were down 33.7% for August year-to-date (down 33.6% July YTD)
  • Combine sales declined 22.4% for August and recorded a 22.1% drop for August year-to-date (down 22.0% July YTD)

Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president, provided some insights:

“Growth in the under 40 horsepower tractor segment was strong for August and farm tractors in the 40-100 horsepower range once again reversed their monthly trend. When combined, these two segments outperformed their 5-year average (2011-2015), mainly driven by the smaller equipment, however.

 “The numbers for mid-size equipment, specifically that related to livestock, are not unexpected; in our quarterly North American agricultural equipment industry conditions survey for Q2 2016, falling livestock prices were associated with falling equipment demand.

“The 100+ horsepower 2WD tractors and 4WD tractors combined are under performing their 5-year average.

“Earlier in the year we felt that the market was stabilizing, but as we pass the midpoint of 2016, we continue to see the smaller equipment is thriving overall while the larger production ag equipment remains depressed.”

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Data from AEM’s Ag Tractor and Combine Report is provided monthly and is derived from AEM member companies through our proprietary statistical reporting programs. The analysis of the data is provided by AEM’s Market Intelligence department. Visit to view the reports, as well as reports from Russia and Canada.