Many families working the land in rural Iowa, for decades, have been fiercely loyal to certain brands of farm equipment.

But, as farm operations grow and the next generation of farmers takes over, that intense brand loyalty is changing, according to Curt Blades with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

“We’ve known this for the last number of years – as farms get bigger and bigger and they become more and more sophisticated, they do become a little bit more business-minded,” Blades says. “And when you become more business-minded, you make decisions that are not based only on emotion. That certainly comes into it, but it also has to economically play out.”

In other words, Blades says, “the bottom line” will likely trump brand loyalty as time goes on. “That says, ‘Hey, if I’m going to continue to bleed a certain color of tractor, that certain color better live up to my expectations. And it still has to pencil out. I’m not going to buy it just because that’s what my grandfather bought or my great grandfather bought. I’m going to do it because that’s what makes sense for my business.'”

A new AEM research report lists diminished brand loyalty as one of the realities equipment manufacturers will have to contend with over the next 25 years. Other key trends are the accelerating adoption of precision ag technologies and the need for equipment suppliers to become “trusted advisors…providing complete solutions to agricultural operations.”