SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The Sioux Falls Farm Show began its three-day run Wednesday at the Convention Center with many in the industry facing the economic challenges of inflation combined with concerns over the potential of another dry season ahead.
The Sioux Falls Farm Show is a cross between a county fair and trade show, where mid-winter optimism can be as expansive as the massive pieces of equipment on display.
“We always look for the best. Start strong and see how it finishes and hopefully, we’ll have a good year,” Letcher, South Dakota farmer Todd Van Walleghen said.
Yet farmers’ optimism is tempered by economic realities that can eat away at their bottom line as they face higher operating costs for everything from fuel to fertilizer.
“Commodity prices came up, but it seems like the input costs ate up all the profits right along with it and weather’s always a wild card, you don’t know what you’re going to get,” Van Walleghen said.
Supply chain issues have led to high prices for steel, and that’s led to higher prices for farm equipment leading to some sticker shock among farmers looking to buy.
“There was a piece of machinery I bought brand-new in 2016 and I talked to them about buying that exact same piece, brand-new right now and the price difference was astounding. It’s unaffordable to me,” Minneota, Minnesota farmer Austin Muhl said.
Yet implement dealers say they’re surprised that many farmers are ready to buy despite the higher cost of equipment.
“It’s amazing. I was expecting the worst. Instead, commodity prices rose enough where farmers still have interest in trading for new product,” Farm Aid Equipment owner Lance Onan said.
As farmers kick a few tires on the machinery on display, they hope supply issues can be worked out soon enough, so they can shift their resilience into high-gear once planting season rolls around.
The farm show runs through Friday.