Tractor and Machinery Association executive director Gary Northover said it was a downbeat beginning to 2020 for Ag Equipment Sales.
"Following on from December's end of year rush where we saw a 7.5 per cent lift, tractor sales have, not surprisingly, been well down for January, behind 16pc on the same month last year," he said.
"Dealers have generally reported that, the impact of the extreme weather events along with the prolonged bushfire season have considerably impacted what demand there was in the market."
Mr Northover said while it was early days, widespread storm rain was likely to return some optimism to agriculture.
"The story in January however was nothing short of dismal in NSW, down 33pc on last January and Queensland which was down 27pc," he said.
"The story in South Australia was not much better, off 19pc for the month whilst Victoria was the one bright spot, up 2.5pc for the month.
"Western Australia was in line with last year."
Mr Northover said the 75 to 150 kilowatt category (100 to 200 horsepower) was the strongest, up 2.6pc nationally.
"The 150kw (200hp) and above range was down 13pc for the month, the 30 to 75kW (40 to 100hp) range was also down 20pc, and the under 30kW (40hp) range again struggled, down 31pc," he said.
"Despite the positive outlook provided by the current rains, we still expect tractor sales to be down this year with early predictions putting the total at around 10,000 units.
"The impact of the drought is likely to be felt for some time yet and 2020 is unlikely to be the year of full recovery.
"That said, very low interest rates combined with strong inventory levels means that buying opportunities for farmers should remain strong throughout.
Headers and hay
Mr Northover said conditions for header sales continued to be very challenging with only a small number of sales completing in January.
"Importantly, it is generally around this time of the year that forward orders are placed for deliveries later in the year and the outlook for these is presently mixed across the nation," he said.
"Hay baler sales have taken a bit of a breather in January, down 29pc on last year's bumper result,however the prevailing view is that demand will still be very strong and anything that can be cut, will be cut, so we are expecting another strong year for baler sales.
"Out front mower sales were well down in January, off 50pc for the month."
Mr Northover said the date for the 2020 TMA Conference has been set at Tuesday July 21, and would be held at the Hyatt Place Melbourne, Essendon Fields.
"This year's event will be themed 'Towards 2030' and will be focused on the challenges expected in areas such as autonomy, sales and marketing effectiveness and many more as we launch into a new decade," he said.