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Tractors in American Farms

[Entry into the Agriculture Market and the Outlook for the Future]

The maximum horsepower of KUBOTA tractors has currently reached 135 horsepower and they are used widely in America in small and medium-scale agriculture (in fruit growing and dairy farming).
The next step up is the large scale agriculture in what is called “the world's breadbasket.” Roughly 30% of soybeans and corn around the world are produced here in the U.S.*
Full-scale crop cultivation in the U.S supports “food provisions” around the world.
We are just starting to take on the challenge of entering that as-yet untrodden area.

  • Data: MAFF

The agriculture situation in America as a base for world food production

America has a vast area of land and the form of agriculture in each state varies according to the region where the state is located. For example, there are corn and soybeans in the Midwest, wheat in states such as North Dakota and Kansas and beef production in the south.
Let's consider this situation of agriculture in America by examining the data.

Situation of major agricultural product production (2012)

million tons

Wheat 61.76
Corn 273.83
Soybeans 82.05
Milk 90.87
Beef 11.85
Pork 10.56
Chicken 17.04


America has the highest amount of corn and soybean production in the world. Similarly, the volume of beef, chicken and milk production is also the greatest in the world. Of these, the production of beef and chicken account for roughly 20% of the total production globally.

Comparison of agricultural land area of various countries

million tons

  America Japan France
Agricultural land area
(10,000 ha)
40,345 456 2,927
Average area managed (ha)
(comparative size)


If we compare the area of agricultural land in each country, the agricultural land in America is roughly 88 times that in Japan and 14 times that in France, where agriculture is said to be prosperous.
Furthermore, as there are many large-scale farms growing crops such as wheat, corn and soybeans, the average size of land managed is roughly 75 times larger than that in Japan and 3 times larger than that in France.

Taking on the challenge of American agriculture!

KUBOTA laid the foundation for expansion into North America in 1972, with the establishment of the Kubota Tractor Corporation (KTC) as a sales company in Los Angeles, California. However, as said previously, the paddy field tractors of Japan did not suit the upland farming of America and it became necessary to change the direction of the business scheme.

Through the 1990s and 2000s, the history includes an increase in horsepower and an expansion of the product range. KUBOTA finally broke into the agriculture market with the development of utility tractors with 60 to 100 and greater horsepower, which made it possible to venture into the market for small-scale agriculture such as fruit farming. Later on, the range of horsepower increased to 135 horsepower and the company entered the dairy farming sector, which is known as the hay market. A tractor with 170 horsepower was announced in September this year. This means that medium-scale farms are now also within view.

In terms of the product line-up, KUBOTA entered the utility vehicle (multipurpose 4-wheeled vehicle) market in 2004. Utility vehicles can be used for off-road travel and load carrying and were a product that widened the market, as there had only been buggies in American society up until that point. In construction machinery, even though the top share had been taken in compact construction machinery globally, there were few products in the line-up for load-carrying machinery and it had not been possible to fully respond to the requirements of the customers. The lineup of compact construction machinery is therefore being expanded and it is planned that a skid steer loader with excellent versatility will be introduced in 2015 to add to the wheel loaders and the compact track loaders that were launched in 2010. There are also expectations that the utility vehicles and construction machinery will be put to use in agricultural settings. On large-scale farms there is much demand for load carrying and construction work and it is possible that these vehicles could be sold in a set with the large horsepower range vehicles. For implements, the acquisition of the Norwegian Kverneland ASA in 2011 made it possible to produce a wider range of products such as ones for hay in-house.

Of course, for “in-house production,” KUBOTA also has two manufacturing bases in North America. These are Kubota Manufacturing of America Corporation (KMA) and Kubota Industrial Equipment Corporation (KIE), both in Atlanta, Georgia. KMA manufactures mowers and utility vehicles and KIE manufactures tractors and implements. According to Hironobu Kubota, the President of KMA and KIE: “Local production for local consumption is very important to strengthen our business development in North America. This means to manufacture items in the local area and to sell them in the local area. Furthermore, in 2013 we created a mower development base in North America. At last we have a system prepared where everything from development to manufacturing and sales can be performed in North America.”

KUBOTA has continued to make steady progress forward over these last 45 years, with the development of high-horsepower tractors, the expansion of the product range, the implement strategy and also the strengthening of the production system. As a company that is rooted locally, we will take on the challenge of large-scale agriculture.

  • KUBOTA tractors that can also work in narrow spaces are highly valued at vineyards where the land is put to effective use in order to increase the harvest of grapes.
  • In the U.S, many dealers carry construction machinery together with tractors. Construction machinery is useful on huge farms, such as in the installation of irrigation facilities.

KUBOTA is supporting the production of California wine

It has been said that California wine has become even more popular than French wine. In comparison with France, California has better climatic conditions and is ideal for the growing of grapes. High quality wine produced from grapes with a high sugar content catapulted California wine brands to fame.

Of all the sites of California wine production, the Napa Valley has the greatest number of wineries and is famous as a location of production. Scott Bauer manages 1,370 acres of vineyard here. “Last year we harvested 8,000 tons of grapes here. Each ton can be used to produce 60 gallons of wine, so how many bottles of wine must that be?!” he laughs heartily. Scott started using a KUBOTA tractor in 1987. Nowadays there are more than 10 of the machines in action on farming operation, ranging from narrow type tractors to utility vehicles. He said: “The characteristic feature of KUBOTA products is their high reliability. In other words, they never have any big trouble. The tractors can be in operation for 12 to 14 hours a day, so something that is simple and doesn't break down is the best. However, I do buy replacement tractors every three years. You must think I am a very good customer to KUBOTA! Ha ha ha...”

It has been estimated that two thirds of the tractors being used in the Napa Valley are KUBOTA tractors. This means that KUBOTA is supporting the production of California wine. According to Craig from the Garton Tractor dealership in Santa Rosa: “The characteristic feature of our store is that 60% of the customers are vineyards. Another 20% are private homes and the remaining 20% are construction companies. The most popular product is the narrow type tractor. The gap between trees on a vineyard is very narrow, so this tractor is perfectly suited. What is good about KUBOTA products? The customers come here demanding a KUBOTA. We also sell products of a different color (= a different company), but we hurried to buy in KUBOTA products. The design is also good. It is the same coloring as the San Francisco Giants, so it was always bound to become popular in Northern California!”

  • Grapes grown in optimal weather conditions and awaiting harvesting. The harvested grapes are taken to a winery and make a new start as high quality wine.
  • Weather conditions that are good for wine are also comfortable conditions for humans. This makes the wine consumed in California seem even more delicious.


Contributing to people's quality of life with high quality products and services

Masato Yoshikawa, President
Kubota Tractor Corporation

In America, KUBOTA takes a high share of the market for compact tractors of 40 horsepower and below and can be said to be well established as a brand. However, we want to actively venture into new markets over the next few years. Regarding tractors, in 2015 we will be releasing new tractors up to 170 horsepower for upland farming. The target for the time being is the market for farms up to medium-scale farms, which mostly make hay for livestock. We have the implement for hay (hay tool) from Kverneland ASA, which has become part of the Group through acquisition. This implement will be marketed under the KUBOTA brand and we will increase the presence of KUBOTA in the agriculture market.

Regarding construction machinery, for this too, we will be starting sales of the skid steer loader (SSL) in 2015. This will mean that we will have a full line-up with our compact excavator, wheel loaders and compact track loaders (CTL). This will assist in the expansion and strengthening of our sales network. SSL are also used widely in the agriculture market and particularly in livestock raising, so there are growing expectations that a synergy effect will be created with the new model tractors and hay tool mentioned previously.

We will also enrich our mower product range and we hope to increase the number of customers who appreciate the good qualities of KUBOTA in the commercial market, not just in the residential market.

We want to contribute to people's “Quality of life” with high quality products and services — looking ahead, you can have high expectations for the challenges that KUBOTA intends to take on.

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