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Master of Agribusiness

Factors Affecting the Annual Unit Sales Volume of Combines in the United States

Benjamin Q. Smith, Olathe, Kan., defended his thesis, “Factors Affecting the Annual Unit Sales Volume of Combines in the United States,” on April 20, 2011.  He is a Product Marketing Manager with John Deere Company in Lenexa, Kan. He will graduate from Kansas State University in May with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB). 

“The ag industry combine sales volume trend is steadily decreasing over time. Recent economic factors such as the IRS Section 179 tax code and EPA engine emission mandates contribute to the marketplace dynamics. Historical economic factors such as interest rates and net cash income for farmers will continue to affect combine sales, too,” Smith said. “Understanding economic trends going forward is vital to better predicting industry combine sales in the United States.”

Smith analyzed historical combine sales in the U.S. and researched factors that may be affecting combine sales to develop a model to estimate future sales of combines for this Master of Agribusiness thesis project. His forecast results will be valuable to economists within Deere and Company as they plan for the future.

Allen Featherstone, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Smith’s thesis advisor, said, “Mr. Smith’s thesis provides a better understanding of the factors that affect U.S. combine sales. Understanding those factors is important to managing machinery production cycles. Quantifying the importance of the tax code, interest rates and cash income on combine sales will help better forecast changes in combine demand.”