SALES OF self-propelled sprayers are expected to show the biggest increase among agricultural equipment sales for 2005, according to an annual survey by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Major manufacturers expect an 8.8% increase in sales of self-propelled sprayers from a year ago.

Although this equipment category shows strength, the agricultural equipment market overall is mixed. Retail sales of all 2-wd tractors are expected to increase just 1.4% from last year, but 4-wd tractor sales are expected to decline 8.8%. Combine sales also are expected to be down 2.9%.

Among tractors, the under-40-PTO-hp category shows the most strength with expected sales gains of 3%. Sales of 2-wd tractors in the 40- to 100-PTO-hp range should be flat, and sales of 2-wd tractors with 100+ PTO hp are expected to decline 4.8%.