Northwest Iowa (RI) — Despite a weak ag economy, 2018 was a good year for farm equipment sales, a big deal in Iowa where John Deere is the state’s largest manufacturing employer. A report shows tractor sales in the U-S rose seven-percent from the previous year, while combine sales jumped 18-percent. Curt Blades, with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, mainly credits farmers replacing old equipment.
Blades says 2018 started strong thanks to federal tax reform and a strong U-S economy helped all year, but then came the trade war with China and other drags on the farm economy.
Despite tariffs and the trade war, Blades expects farm income will go up a little this year. He also likes the new Farm Bill, but worries the partial federal government shutdown will delay its implementation.