Finding and retaining precision farming talent has long been a challenge for equipment dealers, as many look to expand or evolve the scope of their business. While recent years have seen a slowdown in hiring plans, dealers are planning to be more aggressive in adding precision specialists during

According to Ag Equipment Intelligence’s 2019 Dealer Business Outlook & Trends report, about 18% of U.S. dealers are forecasting an increase in precision specialist hiring, a 6% increase over 2018.

The report, which tracks hiring and revenue projections for the coming year, reveals that dealers for 4 of the 5 major ag equipment manufacturers forecast at least 10% growth in precision farming hires in 2019.

Case IH leads the way, with nearly 25% of dealers projecting precision staff additions, nearly double its forecast for 2018. New Holland is also forecasting significant growth, with 19% of dealers planning additional precision hires, nearly five times the percentage in 2018.

AGCO dealers plan to remain consistent with precision hiring, year-over-year, at about 16%, while 10% of Kubota dealers forecast additional precision hires in 2019.

The biggest shift is John Deere dealers, with only about 1% projecting additional hires next year, compared to more than 24% in 2018, the top percentage among the five major ag manufacturers.