With ongoing shortages and delays in parts availability and shipping, precision and iron dealers are seeing opportunity to develop robust early order programs to roll out this summer.

But as we close in on spring planting in many areas, anxiety is building among some customers, dealers and even manufacturers as to the timely delivery of parts and technology to be installed, tested and ready to take the field.

Talking with a few precision dealers this past week, they cited rising commodity prices as a positive sign that farmers will have an appetite for attractive early-order programs this year — though the greater priority is making sure customers have back-ordered parts in time for spring.

Count Adam Gittins, general manager of HTS Ag in Harlan, Iowa, among those precision dealers keeping a close eye on the calendar. But for the last decade, the dealership has recorded and analyzed annual ordering to try and account for fluctuations in availability and delays.

Gittins acknowledges the last year has complicated the process more than usual, and forced dealers to be more discerning or aggressive with the timing and volume of their parts orders to meet current demand and forecast future need.     

We don’t normally stock inventory year-round, at least not in large volumes. But we’re able to ramp up, based on when we expect to sell the inventory and then look at our burn rate of that inventory and try to stay ahead of it a little bit to have some of those critical pieces when we do get closer to the decision. And when the customer is ready to buy, and we don’t have it, it kind of stops that sale’s cycle and it’s really hard to jumpstart it again.”

Share your plans for summer pre-order programs by participating in the new online poll at FarmEquipment.com and look for more coverage of the topic coming in the April/May issue of Farm Equipment magazine.