The pandemic has led to people spending a lot more time at home and outdoors on their rural properties. That has led to increased demand for small tractors for use on hobby farms and large yards.

“I would say the increase is about 30 per cent,” said Michel Poirier of Carriere and Poirer Equipment in Alfred.

Poirer said the biggest challenge is getting the products for the customers. Carrier and Poirer sells Kubota tractors. Compact Kubota tractors are manufactured in Georgia in the southern United States, but the engines for them are manufactured in Japan and shipped to Georgia. Larger Kubota tractors are all manufactured in Japan.

Poirer said the pandemic has also led to shipping delays.

“It’s all related,” he said.

The amount of time a customer must wait for a new tractor varies, depending on the model. Poirer said the normal amount of time used to be four months.

“Now it can take eight and 12 months.”

Poirer said some attachments are also more difficult to get right now.

He said that anyone hoping to have a new compact tractor for the fall of 2021 should order now.

Poirer said that even though demand for small tractors is high, the price has not increased on the actual main-line Kubota products, but increased steel costs have led to higher prices though on some after-market machinery items.

“In the short-term, it shouldn’t affect the main lines,” said Poirer.