US: Spud equipment sales remain steady

John O'Connell/Capital Press
Evan McEntire lifts his 4-year-old son, Apolo Boyd, into the cab of a new tractor Jan. 17 at the Agricultural Expo in Holt Arena on the Idaho State University campus in Pocatello.Farm equipment manufacturers participating in the recent Agricultural Expo at Holt Arena say they’re still doing plenty of business on machinery used in potato production, though sales of agricultural equipment in general have slumped, report Capital Press. Leaders in agricultural equipment production such as John Deere have reported sharp declines in sales during the past two years, due to depressed commodity markets. However, companies specializing in potato equipment, such as the Blackfoot, Idaho-based manufacturer Spudnik, say they’re somehow bucking the machinery sales trend. “We’re doing a good business this year, maybe a little ahead of where we were this time last year,” said Spudnik sales representative Phil Cardon, based in Pasco, Wash. “We’ll still have a strong year. We’ve got strong orders.”  Brock Mitchell, vice president of sales with the Burley, Idaho-based potato equipment manufacturer Double L, believes the contract market with processors provides some stability for the potato industry, enabling growers to take advantage of new product innovations. More