Brookfield, Wis., — About 40% of North American farm equipment dealers expect revenue from sales of new machinery to improve in 2020, while 37% are forecasting little or no change compared to 2019, according to the results of the Ag Equipment Intelligence’s 2020 Dealer Business Outlook & Trends survey.

At the same time, about 37% are projecting an uptick in sales of used machinery in the year ahead and 51% expect sales to come in at about the same level as the previous year.

What seems to be hidden among the survey’s results is the lack of clarity many dealers and manufacturers are feeling about business prospects for 2020.

“There’s little doubt that current trade issues have added to agriculture’s usual uncertainties, like weather and commodity prices,” says Dave Kanicki, editor of Ag Equipment Intelligence. “And everyone in ag seem to be guessing about the potential outcome. One dealer pretty much summarized the quandary that dealers are confronting with the current trade conflict with China: ‘This has created a holding pattern in the market and much uncertainty about if or when to make [buying] decisions.’ And it’s not an issue unique to the U.S. Canada’s ag industry is also confronted with its own trade problems and commodity price issues.”

This will be only one of the concerns that will be discussed during the Ag Equipment Intelligence 2020 Executive Briefing on Dec. 11. This virtual event will feature three expert panel discussions that will include farmers, dealers and specialty equipment manufacturers. It will dig into many of the forces and factors that will impact ag equipment sales in the new year. The panelists will be on hand for live Q&A sessions so registered attendees can pose their questions and get immediate feedback.

The opening session will focus on the results of the 2020 Dealer Business Outlook & Trends survey as well as the findings from the Precision Farming Dealer survey conducted earlier this year.

Despite the uncertainties that cloud the industry’s visibility into the year ahead, dealers report that their early orders are just about at the levels they were a year ago. In addition, it appears that dealers are managing their businesses well as 87% indicate that they expect to be profitable this 2019, which is down only slightly from the previous year.

The Executive Briefing virtual event is aimed at clearing out some of the cloudiness that ag equipment dealers and manufacturers are confronting in 2020. For more information on the 2020 Executive Briefing, Click here.

Kanicki also points out that equipment dealers tend to be conservative in their forecasting and the often outperform their forecasts. Last year at this time, about 46% of dealers were expecting an improvement in new equipment sales during 2019. When asked how they actually did in 2019, 53% reported they expect increased revenues for the year.