19 July 2002

Regions split in tractor trends

By Andy Collings

WITH tractor registrations showing some distinct improvement over last years offerings, it is interesting to note in which UK regions the most increases have been recorded.

Now six months into the year, the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) reports that, with 7358 registrations, the year-to-date total is currently running some 39% higher than for the same period last year.

But, while this figure in itself is impressive, there are even better ones to note on a regional basis. The northern region has increased tractor sales by a massive 69.4%, sales in Wales are up by 58.2%, and for the Yorkshire and Lancashire region there has been a 47.7% increase.

These areas are, of course, predominantly livestock areas where last year the presence of foot-and-mouth did little to encourage the investment in new machinery – hence the rise in sales volumes this year.

For the eastern side of the UK – an area deemed to be mostly arable production – the increases in tractor sales have been lower but still significantly higher than the previous year.

The eastern region, for the first six months of the year recorded a 6.1% increase and the East Midlands, a rise of 12.1%.

The question most manufacturers and dealers are asking themselves is what will happen during the second half of the year. While most would admit that there is little in the pipeline to encourage high investment in tractor purchase – low commodity prices etc – few can deny that a degree of optimism persists.

Predictions for the market are, understandably, hard to find. Manufacturers, it seems, are fervently hoping that the market will not fall too radically. &#42

John Deere tractors have the option of a new range of front linkages from German maker Degenhart. Imported by AM & AJ Jacobsen, based near Montrose in Scotland, the linkages are designed to fit 6000, 6010, 6020 and 7000 series tractors, together with 8000 and 8100 series models. Available with pto drive systems, prices range from £1400 to £6000.