Merz Farm Equipment Timeline

The most important thing we have built since 1953 is TRUST!

  • 2014

    Merz Farm moved into its new 4,000 sq ft addition, including an additional 2,500 sq ft remodel of the existing facility; including all new sales and accounting offices, parts counter and display areas, service office, conference room, a larger showroom and new customer lounge.

  • 2014

    Merz Farm Equipment acquired the Bobcat brand.

  • 2013

    Merz Farm Equipment celebrated its 60th Anniversary.
    Merz Farm Equipment broke ground for their new building addition.

  • 2012

    Merz Farm Equipment began their intern program.

  • 2011

    AGCO invests in its Jackson, Minnesota plant, expanding it by 75,000 square feet. This making room to bring production of the high horsepower tractors back to North America. Production starting in the Fall of the year.

    AGCO invests $40 million into its Hesston manufacturing facility by building a 200,000 square foot painting and finishing building.

    In August of 2011 AGCO held the largest product launch in their history, including new combines, tractors, self-propelled windrowers, planters and much more.

  • 2010

    Mitch Merz, Bruce’s oldest son returns home to the family business, representing the 3rd generation of Merz family.

    AGCO purchased Sparex Holdings Ltd and its trading subsidiaries. Sparex is a leading independent, global distributor of accessories and tractor replacement parts.

    AGCO created a joint venture with Amity Technology, LLC for the development and distribution of air seeding and tillage equipment, including Amity, Wil-Rich and Wishek brand names.

  • 2009

    Massey Ferguson introduces the 8600 Series, it’s most powerful, technically advanced tractor ever. Massey Ferguson is the first in the world to offer e3 clean air technology. The first agricultural equipment manufacturer to provide SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) clean air-technology engines on their tractors.

    AGCO announced it’s plans to open two manufacturing sites in China.

    AGCO announced it’s plan to phase out the orange AGCO brand tractors in favor of the red Massey Ferguson.

  • 2007

    AGCO acquires Laverda S.p.A. including the leveling combines of Europe.

  • 2006

    AGCO saw a re-focusing of the various brands, and re-direction of individual brands. The plans included combining some brands into making all of them part of a larger brand. Massey Ferguson brand now includes the Hesston Series, a complete line of hay equipment.

    Massey Ferguson adopts ISOBUS technology, becoming a leader in achieving “plug & play” capability with other ISOBUS-compatible equipment.

  • 2004

    Fendt, now owned by AGCO, introduces the Tractor Management System, an electronic software interface between engine and transmission used to control engine speed relative to ground speed. TMS allows the tractor to operate at the proper engine speed by automatically coordinating the engine and transmission, minimizing rpm’s, maximizing power to the ground and optimizing fuel efficiency.

    AGCO purchases Valtra tractors. This purchase included the SISU Engines.

  • 2003

    Merz Farm Equipment celebrates 50 years in business.

  • 2002

    Massey Ferguson becomes world plowing contest winner.
    AGCO acquires the assets of Caterpillar’s agricultural equipment business, primarily the design, assembly and marketing of their Challenger track tractors.
    AGCO purchases Sunflower Manufacturing Company, a leading producer of tillage and seeding equipment.

  • 2001

    A new Massey Ferguson combine facility is built in Hesston, Kansas.
    AGCO purchases Ag-Chem, manufacturer of the Ro-Gator and Terra-Gator.

  • 1998

    Massey Ferguson 4200 Series is expanded with nine platform models.
    AGCO purchases Willmar and Spra-Coupe.

  • 1997

    150 year anniversary of the Massey’s origin. Massey Ferguson is being sold in 140 countries and becomes the best-selling tractor brand in the world for the 35th consecutive year.

    The 4200 Series is introduced, This “Next Generation” includes eight models with 55 to 99 PTO Hp. Models 4245 and 4255 feature new sloped hood profile for better visibility.

    Massey Ferguson introduces the 8780 Class VI rotary combines.

    AGCO purchases the Fendt tractor, just two years after Fendt had introduced the CVT.

  • 1996

    Massey Ferguson offers Dynashift transmission, delivering the best features of manual and powershift design.
    AGCO purchases Western Combine Corporation, which previously had purchased the assets of Massey Ferguson Combine Corporation.

  • 1995

    Fendt, later to be purchased by AGCO, introduces the Vario CVT. The CVT combines the infinite speeds of a hydrostatic transmission with the efficiency of a powershift by using a planetary gear set to split the engine output into a hydrostatic section and a mechanical section, eliminating traditional transmission gears.
    Merz Farm Equipment receives the award for Highest Volume Dealer in the Northern Plains Region.

  • 1994

    AGCO purchases worldwide holdings of Massey Ferguson. Prior to the worldwide holdings of Massey Ferguson, revenue from outside North America only made up 2% of AGCO’s revenue. After this purchase that figure was more than 50% from outside of North America, including sales in over 140 countries. AGCO had sales of $314 Million in 1992, but after the acquisition of Massey Ferguson those sales figures were $2.13 Billion in 1995 and $3.22 Billion in 1997.

  • 1993

    Bruce Merz travels to Germany to tour the Claas Combine Factory, as a group of the top seventeen Massey Ferguson combine dealers were chosen to take this tour upon the announcement of Class manufacturing the Massey Ferguson combines.
    AGCO purchases distribution rights for Massey Ferguson in North America, expanding AGCO’s dealer network in North America by more than 1,100 dealers.

  • 1992

    Massey Ferguson combines in Europe offer optional yield meters operating in sync with the Global Positioning System, making it possible to map yields while harvesting.
    AGCO provided an initial public offering of stock.

  • 1991

    AGCO purchases 50% of Hesston Corporation from Case-New Holland, later purchaseing the remaining 50%.
    AGCO purchases White tractor business from Allied Products, later to purchase the planter business.
    Massey Ferguson sells 25% more tractors worldwide than its nearest competitor.

  • 1990

    AGCO is formed in the management buyout of Deutz Allis from KHD for North America. AGCO produces equipment under the AGCO Allis and Gleaner names. AGCO name standing for Allis-Gleaner Corporation, later changed to stand for Agricultural Corporation.
    obcat introduced the FIRST compact excavator manufactured in the U.S.

  • 1987

    Massey Ferguson introduces the exclusive Autotronic System of electronic control for many tractor functions. The Datatronic System is also introduced.

  • 1987

    Merz Farm Equipment acquires a second location along Interstate 29 by Forest City, Missouri.

  • 1986

    Massey Ferguson purchases rotary combine technology from White Farm Equipment.

  • 1985

    Allis Chalmers is purchased by KHD.

  • 1983

    During their 30th Anniversary, Merz Farm Equipment hosts a day long celebration that included Massey Ferguson presentations, equipment displays, an art workshop for the women and capping off the day with an evening meal that included a local band and dancing.

  • 1978

    Massey Ferguson pioneers the electronic 3-point hitch.
    Merz Farm Equipment celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary.
    Introduction of the company’s first compact tractor, Massey Ferguson 205, built by Toyosha Motor Company.
    Hesston produces the first large square baler.

  • 1976

    Bruce Merz, Nelson’s third son, joins his father and two older brothers in the family business.
    With all three sons following in his footsteps, Nelson was elected to the Nebraska State Senate. Turning over the daily business of Merz Farm Equipment to his sons, Dennis, Gale & Bruce.

  • 1974

    Merz Farm Equipment builds a new dealership north of Falls City, along the new Highway 73. The new facility includes a 6,000 square foot service area & more than 3,700 square feet of office and parts space.

  • 1969

    Merz Farm Equipment adds a third building, next to the first building.
    Introduction of the first V8 powered, fixed frame row crop tractor – the Massey Ferguson 1150, powered by Perkins.
    Introduction of the first 4-wheel drive tractors, the Massey Ferguson 1500 & 1800, powered by Caterpillar V8 diesel engines.
    Servis-Rhino patents the first 4-gearbox, flex-wing rotary cutter. The Flex 15 enables the wings to be raised without damage to the drivelines.

  • 1966

    Gale Merz, Nelson’s second son begins his employment in the family business.

  • 1963

    Dennis Merz, Nelson’s oldest son returns home to the family dealership after working as a Massey Ferguson Service Rep.
    Merz Farm Equipment achieves the highest volume retail sales during a fall combine sales contest, winning a brand new Chevrolet pickup.

  • 1962

    Massey Ferguson becomes the world’s best-selling tractor brand.
    Merz Farm Equipment was ranking in the top 5 volume dealers in the Des Moines Branch of Massey Ferguson, which covers the Northern Plains region.

  • 1961

    Merz Farm Equipment adds an addition to the first building.

  • 1960

    Bobcat invented the FIRST true skid-steer loader.

  • 1959

    Merz Farm Equipment adds a second 3,200 square foot building.

  • 1958

    Harris is dropped from the Massey Ferguson name.

  • 1957

    Merz Farm Equipment had sales in excess of $1,000/day with the farm equipment, along with Wayne Feed & Pfister Seed Corn. This was a time when there were still seven other farm equipment dealerships in Falls City, today only one remains.
    Sir Edmond Hillary makes the first land crossing of Antarctica using converted Massey Ferguson tractors.

  • 1955

    Massey-Harris-Ferguson acquires H.V. McKay Co. of Australia.
    Hesston Machine and Manufacturing Co. introduces the first self-propelled swather.

  • 1954

    Merz Farm Equipment builds a new 3,200 square foot building.
    The number of tractors on farms in America exceeds the number of horses and mules for the first time.

  • 1953

    Nelson Merz takes possession of the local Ferguson tractor dealership in Falls City, Nebraska; Merz Farm Equipment, Inc is born.
    Massey-Harris and Ferguson merge. The design of today’s Massey Ferguson logo represents the “Ferguson System,” based on the important invention of the 3-point hitch and the partnership among Massey, Harris and Ferguson.

  • 1952

    Nelson Merz agrees to purchase the Ferguson tractor dealership in Falls City, Nebraska from Harold Strauss.

  • 1951

    The Ferguson Co. develops a side-stroke reel rake, the side-delivery type rake continued to develop and is the most commonly used type of hay rake used today.

  • 1949

    Richard & L.G. Unverferth seeing a need for better floatation in wet field conditions and make better use of a tractor’s available horsepower, develop the first bolt-on dual tractor wheels.

  • 1947

    100 year anniversary of Massey’s origins.Now a part of the Massey Ferguson family, the Hesston Machine and Manufacturing Company was founded by Lyle Yost in Hesston, Kansas. The interesting part is Hesston did not start in hay equipment but rather developed the first grain auger unloader for combines.

  • 1944

    Harry Ferguson opens the Banner Lane plant in Coventry, England which grows to become the world’s largest factory devoted solely to the production of tractors.

  • 1942

    During World War II, Massey-Harris manufacturers tanks, howitzers, wings for mosquito fighter bombers, 40 mm shells, naval gun mounts and bodies for ambulances and troop carriers.

  • 1941

    Massey Harris produces the first successful self-propelled combine with the Massey Harris 21SP combine.

  • 1938

    Henry Ford & Harry Ferguson enter into partnership. Henry Ford later entered into a lawsuit versus Harry Ferguson over royalties.

  • 1935

    Agronomists Frank Duley and Jouette Russell at the University of Nebraska begin research on conservation tillage, along with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service.

  • 1930

    Massey-Harris produces the first 4-wheel drive tractor, in association with H.V. McKay Co. of Australia. Massey-Harris-Ferguson later acquires the H.V. McKay Co. However the benefits were not yet fully understood. Rubber tires were added in 1936.

  • 1928

    Massey-Harris acquires J.I. Case Plow Works Co. of Racine, Wisconsin, manufacturer of the Wallis tractor.

  • 1926

    Harry Ferguson patents the 3-point hitch. In various forms, it is still used on virtually all agricultural tractors today.

  • 1925

    Massey-Harris is trading as a public company. Massey and Harris families sell their interest to a group of prominent Canadians.

  • 1918- 1922

    Massey-Harris models No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 are produced.

  • 1910

    Massey-Harris purchases Johnston Harvester Co. in New York, marking its entry into the U.S. market.

  • 1902

    Massey-Harris opens a branch in France, to support increasing sales.

  • 1897

    50 year anniversary of Massey’s origins.

  • 1895

    The Bain Wagon Co. joins Massey-Harris as an associated company producing wagons, sleighs, dump carts and delivery wagons.

  • 1892

    Massey-Harris acquires a 40% interest in Verity Plow Co.

  • 1891

    Canada’s top two farm equipment companies merge to form Massey-Harris Limited.

  • 1887

    Massey opens a branch in London, England to handle the expanding European market – the first North American company to do so under its own name.

  • 1881

    Massey acquires the Toronto Reaper and Mower Company.

  • 1875

    Massey purchases patents to make the Sharps Rake for Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.

  • 1861

    Daniel Massey’s son Hart obtains the rights to manufacture Walter A Woods’ reaper and mower.

  • 1857

    Alanson Harris begins production of harvesting equipment.

  • 1847

    In a humble tool shed in New Castle, Ontario, Daniel Massey begins manufacturing simple farm implements – the same year Thomas Edison, Joseph Pulitzer and Jesse James were born.