The Newsletter Ag Equipment Intelligence (AEI) recently surveyed 508 ag equipment dealers in the U.S. and found that 90% believe sales for 2008 will be as good or better than this year's sales. And this has been a good year, when sales of row-crop tractors increased 32%, for example. Of the dealers expecting a similar or better 2008, about 45% project a 2 to 7% sales growth next year, and 16% project sales increases of 8% or more.

AEI's survey also revealed considerable optimism about the market for used equipment. About 92% of the dealers forecast equal or better used-equipment sales for 2008 compared to 2007.

What equipment will be the hottest? “It's difficult to find a product category that dealers aren't enthused about for next year,” the AEI newsletter states. It reports on 20 categories and “only four product categories slipped below the 90% good or better for '08 ranking — lawn and garden, 2-wd tractors, chisel plows and field cultivators.” Last year only one product category was above the 90% good or better ranking.

At the top of the product rankings are GPS and autosteer equipment and systems, with 97% of the dealers expecting an improvement in sales. Self-propelled sprayers and farm loaders are next, with 95% expecting improved sales. Following close behind are planters, combines and windrower-swathers.

Buying Lessons: It was a long day of shopping for the little guy when temperatures soared toward 100 degrees. But lessons learned about equipment shopping with dad at a farm show will help him be a better buyer when he’s farming and making his own equipment decisions.