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Agriculture equipment sales decline in 2014

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) -- Agricultural equipment manufacturers and farmers say machinery sales have fallen recently because of lower commodity prices and changes to a federal tax break.

Shawn Berry said at a sales event in South Dakota that the Ohio-based company he represents could end this fiscal year up to 30 percent short in sales in some areas of the country compared to last year.

John Horter owns a farm in Andover, South Dakota. He says the slump in income has forced him to delay some equipment upgrades.

The tax deduction that allowed farmers to write-off equipment upgrades dropped dramatically this year, from $500,000 in 2013 to $25,000 for 2014.

Farm equipment prices vary widely. A tractor can run between $40,000 and $200,000, while a combine for grain harvesting can cost $400,000.

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