I have noticed tractors going to scrap in our area too. In general, I get the feeling that collecting has started to decline and I knew it would be a matter of time. This is most likely due to the downturn in the economy in the past few years and the aging of folks who remember the equipment when it was new. Also, the younger generations (I"m 35), have to overcome the high cost of the hobby. I used to have over 40 tractors but have reduced my collection in the past few years because I bought a new house, had a daughter and have another baby on the way. I think ultimately I will have a small collection of nicely restored tractors in similar fashion to you.
Restorations are expensive and lots of young folks don"t have the patience or motivation for a long term project. Maybe they aren"t hearing about tractor auctions via Facebook or Twitter? Haha. Also, I"ve noticed that my excitement for sitting around tractor shows chatting about tractors has declined over the years. I focus more on tractor pulling now, and choose to restore tractors with the intention of using them on the track. The excitement of competition, tractor set up (I happen to be a mechanical engineer), and the myriad of factors that go into a successful hook is what keeps me motivated. I have noticed more young folks around the pulling track than walking the tractor shows.
All that being said, there are certain tractors we have in our collection that are well worth restoring, such as our comfortractor. These are longer term projects since parts have to be rounded up and extra care (time) is spent in the highest quality of restoration. It is difficult to make money doing restorations since the average cost of refurbishing by far outweighs the value of the average tractor. The exceptions are the rare tractors, but then again the initial cost for those is higher. There may be sentimental value in restoring common stuff (Farmall H, JD B, Allis WD, etc.) that outweighs cost, which is fine if the tractor is kept long term.
Author/Publisher: The Antique Tractor Pull Guide