The farm tire market has been bleak for the past few years, and although tire dealers are hopeful, this year may bring more of the same.
"We saw similar results in 2017 to previous years," said Eric MacPherson, CEO of Gothenburg, Neb.-based Dawson Tire & Wheel.
"Farmers (are) hesitant to spend money, and only doing so when absolutely necessary."
Mark Carpenter, owner of Lake Odessa, Mich.-based Jerry's Tire., blamed the decline of crop and milk prices in 2017 as a reason why most farmers are not looking to 2018 with positive thoughts on change.
"We are being told by several ag equipment dealers that sales are already lower to start this year, and expectations are for a very flat or a down year in sales if these crop prices and milk (prices) continue to stay low," Mr. Carpenter said.
Yet, farmers still have to farm the land, and their tires will continue to wear out. Technology shifts and the way farmers are working may be the keys to future farming success.
"2018 is projected to be marginally better with net farm income due to the reduction in input costs to the farmer," Mr. MacPherson said.
"The more significant trend in my mind is farm consolidation and changes to farming practices," he said. "These have had more impact on tire usage than the economy, as the farmer is using different equipment, traveling over the field less times and using wider equipment."
Other ag dealers are hoping that although sales have been down, 2018 will see a bit of a brighter path.