Commodity prices continue to support improved irrigation equipment demand. The USDA projects the U.S. 2012 net farm income to be the second-highest on record, only slightly less than 2011 and 28% higher than the 10-year average, continuing to create positive economic conditions for U.S. farmers. The global long-term market drivers of improving diets and a growing population, combined with water use efficiencies available for mechanized irrigation systems, continue to be positive drivers for irrigation equipment demand.
Infrastructure segment revenues decreased 47% to $15.1 million in the quarter due primarily to lower QMB system sales. Infrastructure revenues excluding QMB system sales decreased 4% from the second quarter of last year, reflecting flat revenue from the road safety products and lower revenues in railroad signaling structures. QMB system sales were more than 85% lower in the quarter than the same quarter last year due to a sizable project in the comparable period last year and delays in anticipated projects this fiscal year.
The project delays are due to funding and nonfunding-related issues, but the delays have not significantly changed our perspective on the likelihood of specific projects or the future demand for QMB systems. Long-term global interest remained strong in QMB as a superior solution to worldwide traffic congestion and improvement in driver and highway worker safety. QMB sales are likely to continue to be volatile due to the project nature of the business.
Year-to-date at the end of the second quarter, infrastructure revenues were $33.6 million, 42% lower than the first half of last year. Excluding the lower QMB system sales, infrastructure revenues increased slightly over the first half of last year. As we discussed in previous calls, our infrastructure management team remains focused on improving the growth and profitability of the business through expanded sales and marketing actions, product cost reductions and converting fixed expenses to variable where possible. While progress has been made, there is still more improvement planned.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
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