KIKENNY has the fourth highest level of tractor sales in the country. Figures obtained by the Kilkenny People show that tractor sales in the county have already surpassed last years total sales.
Kilkenny farmers have bought 82 tractors so far this year after only seven months of trading. In all of 2010 machinery dealers in Kilkenny only sold 79 tractors. Investment in agriculture in Kilkenny has been made possible by strong grain and milk prices.
Purchasing tractors involves huge capital expenditure by farmers. The average price of a tractor is between e50,000 and e80,000. One Kilkenny farmer has even purchased a combine harvester which would have cost in excess of e250,000.
A spokesperson for the Farm tractor and machinery trade association said that although this year they were looking at 12%-13% growth in the farm machinery trade but that this was coming on the back of one of the worst years on record in the trade. In between 2007 and 2010 there was a 75% reduction in the number of tractors sold in Ireland.
The spokesperson said “Tractor sales had reached unsustainable highs in 06, 07 and 08 due to the use of tractors for non-agricultural purposes such as in construction and roadworks - obviously this is no longer a factor.
“There was also an element of tractor purchases by part time farmers with off farm income – again this would be much reduced now.
“In reality all types of farm machinery were down about 50% had started to recover last year with the boost in milk prices.”