MILWAUKEE — The Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers' (AEM) December U.S. Ag Tractor and Combine Report shows all machine categories recorded year-to-date growth as 2018 closed out.

U.S. December year-to-date sales of self-propelled combines showed 18.2% growth and year-to-date sales of 4WD tractors gained 12.9%.

U.S. sales of self-propelled combines gained 29.7% month-over-month in December compared to last year, while U.S. sales of 4WD tractors declined 9.2% month-over-month.

Overall U.S. sales of 2WD tractors for December year-to-date grew 6.8%; under 40 horsepower tractors gained 9.2%; 40-100 horsepower tractors increased 1.5%; and 100-plus horsepower tractors grew 5.5%.

For December month-over-month, total U.S. sales of 2WD tractors grew 5.7% compared to last year: a 7% gain for under 40 horsepower tractors, a 3.6% increase for 40-100 horsepower tractors, and a 5.9% gain for 100-plus horsepower tractors.

“2018 was a solid year for equipment sales despite a weak overall farm economy and lingering trade issues. As we look at 2019, we’re still seeing a lot of uncertainty related to the Administration’s efforts to reset global trade parameters. We’re also watching some uncertainty with stock market ups and downs which could indicate a potential slowing economy. As a whole, we remain optimistic that the replacement market for large equipment will continue through 2019, and that the small tractor market will continue to be a bright spot on overall sales numbers,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, Agriculture for AEM.