Tractor Sales Higher and Trucking Prices Soar
**For people who operate sod farms, the COVID-19 pandemic and the deepening drought have brought changes to their business.
The pandemic cut demand from schools and sports stadiums BUT brought an uptick in residential business.
Drought prompts buyers to seek sod that uses less water, so growers have maintained a trend toward production of water-saving grasses.
One grower says the previous drought had “a heavy influence” on what he markets now.
**The improving farm financial situation is benefitting the ag equipment sector, and as a result, tractor sales continue to do well.
www.agweb.com reports, new numbers from the Association of Equipment Manufacturer's monthly "flash report" show sales of all tractors were up 23% last month compared to the same month last year.
In the first four months of the year, sales are up 39% year to date.
**Trucking prices shot up in mid-May and will likely to continue that trend through the Fourth of July thanks to the rising spot market for trucks.
In recent USDA reports, according to www.thepacker.com, refrigerated truck rates for Salinas-Watsonville, California vegetable shippers reached as high as $12,200 to Boston on May 11, up 10% from the previous week and up 24% since March 27.
Mid-May rate increases ranged from 6% to 10%, with diesel prices up 33% year over year on average.