So why the sudden run on tillage equipment? Experts cite a variety of reasons. One is a buildup of crop residue, a by-product of higher plant populations and high-yielding biotech hybrids. These crops, once harvested, leave behind a blanket of stalks and stems that can make it difficult to plant come spring.

Soil compaction, which can build up in years when wet fall weather prevents deep, effective tillage, is another reason for the rise in sales, companies report. Wet spring and fall weather means that farmers drive on wet ground to plant and harvest their crops, creating layers of compaction deep in the soil. Tillage helps to remove those layers that may otherwise block root growth.

Finally, high corn prices have left farmers with more disposable income. Farmers are using that money to buy tillage equipment, considered an impulse item that farmers can buy off the lot, especially since self-propelled equipment is in such tight supply, says Deere’s Sikora.

“Tillage equipment purchase decisions are typically more impulse in nature than tractors, self-propelled sprayers, and other higher-ticket items, which farmers buy further in advance to take advantage of availability, early-order programs, and other incentives,” he says.

All of these factors are spurring a wave of new tillage implement purchases.