Agricultural machinery manufacturers expect total retail sales of 2-wheel-drive tractors in 2005 to increase 1.4 percent in the United States and gain 6.2 percent in Canada, while sales of 4-wheel drive tractors to both the U.S. and Canadian markets are predicted to decline by year-end 2005 -- a 8.8 percent drop for the U.S. and a decrease of 5.2 percent in Canada.

These predictions are included in the just-released annual "State of the Ag Industry Outlook" report produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the North American-based international trade group for off-road equipment manufacturers and industry service providers (construction, agriculture, forestry, mining and utility).

Negative retail sales of self-propelled combines are also expected, with U.S. sales of the machines anticipated to drop 2.9 percent, and combine sales to Canada to decline 6.6 percent. For other types of farm-related equipment covered in the AEM forecast, both U.S. and Canadian sales are expected to increase in the majority of machine categories.

The AEM 2005 ag industry outlook covers 19 types of farm field and farmstead type equipment. The full report is available on the AEM Web site under the Industry Trends section.

Source: Association Release