Shares of AGCO (AGCO - Get Report)  are up 6% thus far in 2016 despite a continued slump in commodity prices and increasingly pessimistic farmers. AGCO CEO Martin Richenhagen said the resilience of the agricultural equipment maker is a testament to the company's ability to plan ahead.
 
"We are being rewarded a little for very quickly and efficiently addressing the cyclicality of our business and the recent downturn," said Richenhagen. "We did our homework early and that proved we manage the company pretty well which helped us."
 
Richenhagen said farmer incomes are generally more solid than one might think considering the commodity price slump due to better-than-expected harvests. He said farmers have refinanced their businesses so their debt burdens are less onerous.
 
Of course, farmers in different countries have different circumstances. Richenhagen said AGCO's European business, which represents about half its total sales, has been flat, yet still better than its North and South American territories. In the U.S., business continues to suffer from political uncertainty, according to Richenhagen.
 
"The confidence of farmers in the government is down," said Richenhagen. "Farmers are careful business people and they might hold back investment when they are not optimistic about the future."
 
Regarding AGCO's South American business, Richenhagen said Brazil's politics are a "nightmare," while Argentina's outlook is brightening due to the election of Mauricio Macri as president.
 
Elsewhere, Richenhagen said he has high hopes for the company's new state-of-the art plant in Changzhou, China. That plant is part of AGCO's $350 million Global Tractors project, the largest manufacturing and new product project in the history of the company.
 
Finally, Richenhagen said AGCO's Emerging Farmers' Mechanization Package through its Massey Ferguson brand is giving emerging farmers in Africa access to modern farm equipment at an affordable price. He said it was profitable from the beginning and is keeping many Africans from leaving their homes for Europe because they are now sufficiently feeding themselves.