Why Farmers are Worried: The State of Agriculture Equipment - Iron Solutions

Why Farmers are Worried: The State of Agriculture Equipment

By Iron Solutions Posted in Resources

June 21, 2024

Modern senior farmer using tablet on the field with stock overlay

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, in this month’s earlier released UET News, Iron Solutions 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.”

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?

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.

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.

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. Listen to the Moving Iron Podcast!

    moving iron podcast logo

    In this month’s podcast we delve into price increases, depreciation, inventory stacking and more. Moving Iron Podcast’s latest installment brought to you by Iron Solutions by Fusable gets you the latest insights on the impact of supply and demand on pricing, and the influence of interest rates and financing options.

  2. Monitoring Market Indicators:

    EquipmentWatch Market Report Iron solutions Used Equipment Trends

    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.

  3. Valuation Tools and Forecasting Models:

    EquipmentWatch by Fusable logo

    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 IronSolutions and EquipmentWatch, 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