In our last Technology Corner segment, we looked at the precision hiring plans for the coming year, with the majority of the major line farm equipment dealers forecasting increases over 2020.
The outlook supports 93% of dealers view precision farming systems as one of their best bets to remain the same or improve unit sales in 2021, according to Ag Equipment Intelligence’s 2021 Dealer Business Outlook & Trends report.
But digging deeper into each of the major manufacturers outlook for best bets to improve units sales in 2021, not all of them place the same priority on precision in the coming year.
Some 80% of John Deere dealers forecast precision farming system unit sales to increase by at least 2% in 2021, topping the major manufacturer's list of best bets. More than 48% of Case IH dealers cite precision farming systems as a best bet for the coming year, ranking second.
But other dealer groups placed precision lower on their list of expected unit sales growth in 2021. While about 45% of New Holland dealers forecast precision systems to be a best bet, it ranked seventh on the list.
Less than 40% of Kubota, AGCO and Independent dealerships ranked precision among their top opportunities to improve unit sales in 2021.
Despite the mixed outlook among individual manufacturers, there are defined pathways for growth out of lessons learned this year. Layne Richins, precision farming manager at Stotz Equipment, a 25-store Deere dealership, notes a few areas they plan to target in 2021.
“I think some of the keys pieces to that are going to be getting to that next level with our growers and getting more involved in their business. That’s going to bring other opportunities. Maybe it doesn’t necessarily trade-off for equipment sales right away. Maybe it’s just having a seat at the table to understand their business and learn their business. If we can get more involved in our customers’ business, and be more of a partner, that’s just our focus. We believe the precision ag side and the technology, that’s how we can do that.”