FARMERS ARE not expected to buy as much equipment for their business this year as they did in 2005, according to a manufacturers' survey conducted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). AEM includes all major U.S. agricultural equipment manufacturers.

“If the trend of actual sales for 2005 continues through year end, we are looking at the overall market for tractors and combines to trend down in 2006,” states John Smylie, AEM senior vice president. “However, to put this in perspective, this comes after two years [2003 and 2004] of historically high sales growth.”

A majority of the manufacturers in the survey predict a moderate increase in the price of new and used equipment.