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The latest Farm Journal Pulse poll results produced supporting evidence of what many in the ag industry already suspect - that as farmer budgets continue to tighten, they'll tend to delay major equipment purchases.

Nearly 1,100 farmers responded to the poll, which asked, "When will you make the next major machinery purchase on your operation?" More than 40% said it would be 2019 or later before they did, with only 11% indicating they would make a major equipment purchase this year.

Used farm machinery expert Greg Peterson - "Machinery Pete" - says the delayed purchase sentiment is certainly understandable, given the current ag economy.

"As I travel the country talking to all in the farm machinery space on a regular basis, it's not uncommon to hear the 'pull in the reigns' theme verbalized," he says.

Even so, Peterson wonders if farmers will resist good purchase opportunities when they present themselves. He's spotted a few points of evidence that makes him ask this question. First, Peterson has seen record search traffic growth at And auction prices have been solidifying and stabilizing for the past 12 months, with the possible exception of large used planters, he says.

"I think farmers are being situationally very aggressive used equipment buyers, and there are some good buying opportunities out there," Peterson says.

Anecdotally, several recent instances come to mind.

"For example, I just heard from an eastern North Dakota farmer dealing with a very wet harvest who just purchased a new grain cart and tractor, both with tracks," he says.

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