IT WOULD appear that the easier harvest, though unremarkable in terms of yields – especially in the south – has had a steadying effect on machinery sales.

Tractor figures just released by the Agricultural Engineers Association – which are the talisman sales indicator for the trade – show that the third month in a row, UK registrations of agricultural tractors (those greater than 50hp) were almost unchanged from a year earlier.

The total of 836 machines registered during October – just 10 fewer than in October, 2017 – meant that it was just 1.2% less than October 2017. That means for the year to date, 10,542 units have been sold, which is a rise of 6.4% compared to same time-period last year.

Registrations of compact tractors (under 50hp) were again higher than last year for the fourth month in succession. At 153 machines, this was up 4% year on year, bringing the total for the year to date to 1322 units, 2% more than in 2017 during the same period.

We won't know until the end of the year how the Scottish market is performing, but the anecdotal trend is 'flat' according to some in the trade.