The farm machinery industry is a complex sector of the global manufacturing economy that encompasses many companies, including those who that produce tractors, combines, planting equipment, tillage equipment, and irrigation systems. While the global industry is dominated by three full-line manufacturers (Deere and Company, Case New Holland, and the Allis-Gleaner Corporation), there are thousands of other companies, including many short-line manufacturers, that also dictate the nature of the industry. In recent years, equipment built by competitors from Asia have become more common in the farmstead landscape, capturing some of the market share U.S. manufacturers once dominated. This book examines farm machinery in the context of its history, corporations, outside market forces, regulations, and challenges and opportunities.
The farm machinery industry, while contributing a small percentage to gross world product, is vitally important to another key sector of the economy-agriculture. In advanced economies, where the percentage of the labor force engaged in agriculture has been on the decline since World War II, high horsepower tractors and efficient harvesting systems are necessary to cultivate more acres with fewer workers to feed an ever-growing world population. Threats to profits in agriculture, such as natural disasters, climate change, and trade wars, increasingly challenge the profits and the viability of the farm machinery industry.