Dealers answering a recent Farm Equipment magazine survey are anticipating that equipment sales will be down significantly from 2023 levels. While this projection covers the general farm population, machinery purchases by no-tillers should be a bright spot for dealers in 2024.

Cropping an average of 1,086 acres, no-tillers who participated in the 2024 No-Till Farmer Benchmark Survey expect to spend $66,047 on equipment purchases, parts and service work this year. Strip-tillers expect to spend $93,488, down from an average of $96,438 in 2023 equipment purchases.

No-Tillers Ready to Buy Planters

Only 25% of dealers are forecasting at least a 2% growth in sales of planters, regardless of the tillage practices being used. This is down from 46% of dealers expecting similar growth in 2023.

On the other hand, 29% of no-tillers from our 2024 No-Till Farmer survey have plans to buy a planter in 2024. This increased from 11% in 2023.

Dealers forecasting sales growth of 2% or more in planter sales for 2024 hit a 5-year low of 25%, according to our 2024 Farm Equipment Dealer Business Outlook & Trends report. This figure peaked in 2022 when 46% of dealers were forecasting planter sales growth of more than 2% over the previous year.

According to our February 2024 Ag Equipment Intelligence Dealer Sentiments & Business Conditions update, dealers reported planter sales were down 8% in January, compared to December 2023. In the fourth quarter of 2023, planter sales were down 2% vs. the third quarter of 2023.

Other Bright Spots

Purchases of other equipment among no-tillers are also looking good for this year, based on our 2024 No-Till Farmer survey results:

  1. Some 18% of the surveyed no-tillers plan to buy a no-till drill this year, up from 8% in 2023. Only 15% of farm equipment dealers expect to see an increase of 2% or more in sales of no-till drills.
  2. 6% of no-tillers plan to buy an air seeder in 2024, up from 5% in 2023.
  3. Some 12% of no-tillers intend to buy a self-propelled sprayer this year. Among dealers, 26% expect to see 2024 sales of these sprayers increase by 2% or more this year.
  4. Some 9% of no-tillers anticipate buying a pull-type sprayer, up from 5% a year ago. Among dealers, 15% are anticipating a 2% or more increase in sales of pull-type sprayers this year.
  5. 13% of no-tillers expect to buy a strip-till rig, up from 5% in 2023.
  6. 12% of growers plan to buy a vertical tillage tool in 2024, up from 3% in 2023.
  7. No-tillers also expect to buy more precision equipment this year. This will be a big sales opportunity for dealers, as 41% anticipate that precision equipment sales will increase by 2% or more this year.

In the precision technology, services and equipment area, no-tillers plan to spend $8,099 this year, compared to $5,789 in 2023. Strip-tillers will spend $4,965 on precision technology this year, compared to $6,511 in 2023.

Unlike most U.S. farmers who are carefully watching their costs and are worried about profitability this year, no-tillers have the dollars and desire to make significant equipment purchases this year. So if ag equipment dealers are paying extra attention to you this year, now you know why.

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