WE’VE had ‘that was the year that was’.
Now we’re facing, ‘this is the year that is’ and it is time for a bit of crystal ball gazing.
From what Torque is picking up around the proverbial traps, machinery sales will lift this year.
There has already been a strong response for new header forward order programs and one suspects new tractors would have got the same attention if they were available for the seeding season.
The only new stock is what dealers already have from astute ordering last year.
You will find, in most cases, lead times for new tractors are already beyond May and June.
And dealers are reluctant to bring in any new machinery ‘on spec’, as part of a floor plan program.
That’s because of a lot of money is sitting in dealer yards in the form of used equipment.
And that’s where dealers are hoping the sales lift will come from.
Checking out the ads in Farm Weekly (you’ve probably done that already), there are plenty of good used machines that would fit the bill for seeding, spraying, spreading and general farm work, including deep ripping.
And when the used market is starting to look a bit like a spare tyre around a satisfied holiday maker, you instinctively know there are good deals to be done.
Most dealers this year will have a major focus on reducing used equipment inventories and they remain positive about a market that threw a few wobbles last year.
Debt levels are coming down and there are excellent finance deals around, even for good used gear, making it an astute move to upgrade equipment.
Some might choose to buy used as a stepping stone towards new gear, if 2018 presents as a good season, while others will be content to stick with low-hour purchases, some of which may still be covered by warranty.
There is still a fair bit of new gear available but that is probably going to be sold to those who finished the year without making too big a negative impact on 2016 gains – in some cases there were big positive impacts too, reflecting the healthy new header programs on offer by all colours.
So overall, life goes on, with the only certainty of new being a summer dress for the wife, or a new fridge, or a settee, or the latest flat screen.
And of course, a new block each week (just for the workers).