Foreign fields: What tractors do German farmers buy?

How many tractors do they buy?

27,288 new tractors of 51hp and above were registered by farmers and contractors in Germany in 2008, against 17,104 in the UK. That was 12% more than in 2007 but down on the amazing 31,019 tractors sold in 2006.

How are they doing this year?

January-May 2009 sales of new tractors are 11,914, down 4.2% on the same period in 2008.

Lower hp tractor sales have been hardest hit, but demand for tractors of more than 130hp is rising.

Which is the most popular make?

Top seller in 2008 was John Deere (19.8% of the market), a fraction ahead of Fendt (19.7%). Then it’s almost neck and neck between Deutz-Fahr (12.4%) and Case IH/Steyr (11.5%), with Claas (7.6%) and New Holland (6.3%) occupying fifth and six positions.

What are German farmers’ favourite tractors?

Last year’s best seller was the 207hp Fendt 820 Vario, with 911 units sold. Second place was Deere, with its 105hp 6330, which sold 680 units. Third place was Deutz-Fahr’s 166hp M620.

Average power across all new tractors more than 51hp is 140hp (similar to the UK) compared to 125hp in 2003. In 2008, about a third of all new tractors sold in Germany had a power output of more than 150hp and every sixth unit, more than 200hp.

What much do farmers pay for red diesel?

In Germany, there is no difference in price between street diesel and agricultural diesel. In mid-June it was €1.05-1.10/litre (87p-91p/litre) including taxes. However, farmers can claw back €0.21 (18p) of the tax paid on every litre, although they have to pay €350 (£295) per farm per year and the subsidy applies only to the first 10,000 litres per farm each year. After that, farmers pay the same as private motorists.

Do they have a tractor MOT?

Tractors up to 7.5t gross weight and with a top speed less than 40kph (25mph) have to take a roadworthiness test every second year, just as cars do. Bigger, heavier and faster tractors are treated as trucks, so as well as the two-yearly MOT they have to under go a safety test of brakes, lights, suspension and tyres every six months.

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