There were 178 new tractors registered in the month of July - continuing the recent downward trend this year - according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in figures released earlier today.
The 178 tractors registered in July of this year compares rather unfavourably with the same figure for July 2016 (191 new tractors) and July 2015 (185 machines), the CSO's latest statistics show.
This downward spiral is made further evident by the figures released regarding the number of new tractors sold so far this year - 1,316 tractors.
This is again considerably lower than the same period (January to July) in 2016 and 2015, with figures of 1,466 and 1,358 respectively.
On the flip side however, according to the CSO, there has been a sizable increase in the number of used (imported) tractors being registered for the first time in 2017.
For last month alone, 173 second-hand tractors were registered; this compares to 165 registered in July 2016 and 130 for the same month in 2015.
This trend is also obvious in the number of used (imported) tractors registered for the period of January to July. This year 1,550 tractors were registered - a significant rise on the 1,106 recorded in the same period for 2016 and the 1,010 for the 7-month period in 2015.
This accounts for a remarkable jump of about 50% in the space of two years for used (imported) tractor registrations during this specific time-frame.
Meanwhile, regarding private car registrations - another necessity for rural and farm life - the latest statistics show that new car registrations are down on last year. Used private car registrations are up significantly for both the month and the year so far.
The number of new private cars registered in July of this year stands at 21,316. This is down on the same month last year, when 22,462 were registered - but slightly up on the 21,290 registered in July 2015.
Similarly for the period of January to July, this year's recorded total so far stands at 108,662 - this is well down on the 119,952 registered in 2016, but up considerably on the 99,950 from the 2015 period.
However, used (imported) car registrations showed a surge. A total of 7,598 imported cars were registered in July of this year, compared to 5,637 registered in July 2016 and 4,075 in July 2015.
For the January to July time-frame, used car registrations have risen dramatically - with 52,543 recorded so far this year.
This is up a massive 44% on the 36,411 documented for the January to June period last year. It also dwarfs the 28,703 registered during the first seven months of 2015.