New research shines light on machinery-buying decisions
A new study has found the most important factor in determining what agricultural machine a farmer will purchase is their own, and their close friends' and colleagues first-hand experience, and this was reflected in their loyalty to the leading Irish brands.
On the other hand farm machinery dealers took the view that after sales service was the critical factor in the purchase decision. Dealers are the main source of initial information on new machines, but farmers look to their own or their friends' past experience first when making up their mind.
Nevertheless, the research showed that younger farmers are not as brand loyal as their predecessors, and are comfortable buying new brands.
Their search behaviour is also much more intensive than ever before; they research the market and they want to 'test-drive' or see demonstrations of machines before committing themselves.
The study, just published by Kate Gaynor, MD of paint manufacturer Advanced Coatings, breaks new ground as no academic or commercial study has ever examined the factors in Ireland that determine a farmer's decision-making process when making a capital purchase of farm machinery.
The most significant structural change in Irish farms has been the increase in farm size and a reduction in numbers employed.
It follows that farmers are increasingly dependent on mechanisation on the farm and the consistent increase in machinery ownership figures bears this out.
This is a market of key importance, both internationally and nationally.