After a rainy season, Carrefour’s summer crops have been harvested and many farmers in the area are now looking to purchase new augers, combines, sprayers, tractors and more. Unfortunately, low inventory levels at farm supply stores make it difficult for farmers to get their hands on these types of heavy machinery as quickly as they could before.
The low levels of supply can be attributed to labor and transportation shortages, said Seth Potts, salesperson at Hlavinka Equipment Company in Victoria.
âThere’s hardly anything easy to grab hold of, and it’s just about all hard to grab hold of,â Potts said.
Equipment that could previously take a week to arrive after ordering can now take four to five months to arrive, Potts said. This delay in ordering may force farmers to plan purchases of new equipment months in advance.
While its inventory levels were good last year, supply shortages have caught up with the store this season, Potts said.
âRight now I have seven tractors,â he said. “I’ll usually have closer to a dozen and a half and several other bigger pieces.”
The shortage has even extended to previously used equipment, Potts said. Hlavinka advertises only seven pieces of used equipment on its website for the Victoria location.
âIt’s everyone,â Potts said. âIt’s not just us. Inventory levels are 50% or less than they typically are. “
Inventories at Shoppa’s Farm Supply in Victoria are estimated to be less than half of normal levels, said Wesley Cates, store manager. However, sales remain stable.
âWe are still selling as much as we ever have,â he said. âWe just have to sell it in advance. You are simply changing the way you do business.
Supply shortages in the farm equipment industry mirror shortages in most other industries, Cates said.
âNationally, this is history,â he said. âIt doesn’t matter if you’re talking to a GMC truck dealership or a moped dealership. “
John Deere workers in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas went on strike on October 14, but Cates believes it is still too early for the strike to impact inventory levels at Shoppa’s, a John Deere dealer.
The supply shortage is not affecting prices at Shoppa, Cates said.
At Hlavinka, it’s a different story.
âPrices are 8-15% higher today than they were a year ago today,â said Potts.
Typically, Hlavinka would experience a 2.5% annual increase on large products like tractors, combines and sprayers, Potts said. This year, most big products like these have seen their prices increase by 10% or more.
There is no end in sight for the supply shortage in the farm equipment industry, Potts said.
“By all accounts, from every report you read or anyone you talk to at the manufacturer, it will be at least a year before we maybe start to see this thing improve,” a- he declared.
Cody covers the pace of business for the lawyer. He can be reached at (361) 580-6504 or [email protected]