Tractor sales see steady increase on last year

Derek Casey

Derek Casey

Tractor registration figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) covering the period to the end of May indicate a steady level of sales activity.

While April saw a slight drop in registrations in comparison to the same month of last year (a 1pc decrease to 207 units), May surged ahead with a 19pc increase on 2018, to 210.

That brings the figure for the first five months of 2019 to 1,313 units - a 5pc increase on the same period last year.

The three counties with the highest levels of registrations this year continue to be Cork, Tipperary and Wexford.

A healthy spread of new registrations across the country has been seen so far this year, with evidence of good activity in what might seen as primarily dairy farming counties such as Limerick and Kerry.

FTMTA boss Gary Ryan explained: "While the percentage of all new tractors registered during the first five months having in excess of 100hp fell slightly to 93pc, the percentages of tractors registered of over 120hp and 150hp have climbed marginally to 60pc and 32pc respectively - up from 59pc and 31pc at the end of April.

"Only 19 tractors have been registered so far this year with 70hp or less, which is just over 1pc of the total registrations."

Self-propelled sales jump

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Meanwhile, the FTMTA says an impressive 54 new self-propelled forage harvesters have been registered in Ireland in the first five months of this year.

The figure is the highest for many years and suggests contractors are feeling confident and investing in their machinery fleet for years to come.

To put it into context last year 35 new self-propelled forage harvesters were registered, while the year before the figure was 38. These are more typical figures for the annual market.

One theory on the reason for the sales jump is that dairy expansion means contractors are being asked to ensile bigger volumes of silage as farmers push to have enough winter fodder for larger herds.

In response contractors appear to be looking to newer and more powerful forage harvesters capable of harvesting huge acreage per day.

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