(In reference to “Biodiesel Ices Black Eye,” page 4, December issue.) I experienced a different problem this fall when I decided to switch to B20 for the first time. I had trouble with plugging fuel filters, finding a black mud substance in the filter. I have never had to change a fuel filter in the work season before. I had to change the fuel filter on all of my tractors and combine. The fuel was purchased from my long-time vendor Freeborn Co-op Oil of Albert Lea, MN, and I never had a problem with fuel from them until now.
I am wondering if this is a local problem or an industry problem. It has left me not wanting to use B20 this spring.
— Kevin Sorg, Rose Creek, MN
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MARKET FOR TRACTORS TRENDS DOWN
According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers' (AEM) 2006 Ag Equipment Forecast report, manufacturers expect total sales of 2-wheel-drive tractors to number 205,834 units. For 4-wheel-drive tractors, unit sales of 3,401 are anticipated for the U.S. market.
For self-propelled combines, the forecast for 2006 sales is 6,232 units.
“If the trend of actual sales for 2005 continues, we're looking at the overall market for tractors and combines to trend down in 2006. However, to put this in perspective, this comes after two years (2003-2004) of historically high sales growth,” says AEM Senior Vice President John Smylie.
The steepest declines in business are predicted for planters (down 12.8%), field cultivators (down 7.4%) and chisel plows (down 7%).
The complete survey results are available online at www.aem.org, in the “industry trends” section.