Kubota is getting bigger.
Martin Carrier of Kubota Canada said during Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ont., that the company’s new M7 chassis tractor line, which was released this fall, pack 130 to 170 horsepower and an optional continuously variable transmission into a new, heavier duty frame.
The bigger M7 tractors, as well as the M6 line formerly called GX, get new Tier 4 compatible engines, including the associated diesel exhaust fluid tanks.
Kent Brown of Kubota in the United States said the company has added a new, heavy-duty loader with a closed centre as well as 29 gallon per minute hydraulics.
“Add the premium cab and it gets the ISOBUS ready system and controller … it’s definitely an ag tractor now,” he said.
Rob Allison of Kubota Canada said the company has been expanding its commercial farm lineup and recently added a new exhibition building at the Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock.
“We want the market to understand we are serious, Kubota is serious, about the larger farm business,” he said.
“Out west we know most farmers will buy a 130 to 170 h.p. for loader work and for haying. In Eastern Canada, that is a field tractor sized machine.”
The company has entered commercial agriculture through the forage and livestock sectors.
Carrier said the machines have been well tested in western Canadian winters.
“Can it grab two five-by-six round bales frozen into the ground and lift them? Yes it will,” he said.
Dave Palmer of Kubota’s hay tools division said the company’s silage baler and an expanded line of rakes and tedders was added this year.
The company is marketing its Kabota branded Kvernland forage equipment.
“It had in the past a very, very good name up in Canada and we are in our second year selling them in the U.S.,” he said while attending The Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.
Kubota acquired the Norwegian haying company in 2012, at about the same time that Kaverland bought Italian baler building Gallignani, know for its variable bale chamber, round balers. These machines are the basis for the balers that Kubota is now marketing in North America.
Allison said the company is developing more tools for the North American market.
“We know we need a five by six baler to meet western Canadian farmers’ needs, and we have a few prototypes in testing now and hope to have one in place in the coming season or two.”
The company’s hay tools have been known for putting up high quality hay in short, potentially high humidity northern European seasons. Its roller conditioner design processes the whole width of the cutter bar for complete processing and quick dry down.
“Dairy and beef cow folks are really focusing on hay quality,” Allison said. “A few years ago it was hay volume. We are focusing on high quality production but have been North Americanizing those tools, making them bigger, faster and making sure they pair with North American tractors and farmers’ experiences.”
He said the M7 won’t be the end of the trend toward larger tractors for Kubota.
“High horsepower is coming,” he said. “The way Kubota does it, is to move into a market and get a sense of it and then grow the line. There is a logical progression to growth. I think it won’t be long until we have 250 h.p. tractors. We have dealers making their expansion plans based on that growth in the lineup.”