Big orange tractor gets bigger

Kubota has made no secret of its intention to become a full line agriculture company, serving the whole business from the smallest farms in Asia to the biggest in Western Canada.

However, the question is which of the current machinery builders it will acquire to reach that market penetration.

Known for smaller equipment, the company added a hay tools division with the purchase of Kverneland in 2013. It released larger tractors last fall for the lower-power end of the row crop market.

It recently announced its intention to buy Kansas-based Great Plains Manufacturing.

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Linda Salem, who heads Great Plains, said earlier this year that the company was exploring expansion opportunities and saw the current machinery market has being “full of opportunities for a company like ours.”

The five lines of Great Plains machinery, which provide traditional and cutting edge seeding and tillage technology, will give Kubota tools that are too large for its current sub-200 horsepower tractors to pull. This feeds speculation that a high horsepower tractor release or another corporate acquisition must be around the corner.

Ahead of the Great Plains purchase was Kubota’s decision to locate its new North American distribution centre in Edgerton, Kansas, home of Great Plains.

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