Shortline Manufacturer Makes a Move

August 23, 2013 09:41 PM
Shortline Manufacturer Makes a Move

In a competitive machinery market, watch for this up-and-comer: Horsch, shortline manufacturer of Maestro corn planters and Joker tillage equipment, has expanded production of both machines in North Dakota to compensate for booming demand.

"We’ve experienced significant growth over the past 10 years," says Jim Peterson, chief financial officer.

Located just west of Fargo, the newly built Mapleton manufacturing facility, which begins first production in fall 2013, boasts 111,000 sq. ft. of space, room for training sessions and a roster of 40 employees with plans for as many as 80 within the first two years of operation, says Kory Anderson, Horsch president. The facility will be Horsch’s North American headquarters. The shortline manufacturer also has plants in Andover, S.D., and Harper, Kan.

To date, 80 dealers in the U.S. and Canada sell Horsch equipment, and that figure could increase by 50% or more within the next two years, Anderson says. Regions targeted for growth are the Corn Belt and Canada.

"Our commitment to servicing and supporting our dealers allows them to be more confident in stocking equipment," Anderson says.

North American sales for Horsch doubled from 2011 to 2012 and are up another 50% this year, Peterson says. About 70% of its North American sales are made in the U.S. In Germany, Horsch is roughly a $300 million company and the largest manufacturer of seeding and tillage equipment in Europe.

At the heart of the new North American headquarters will be manufacturing of the Joker tillage equipment line, Anderson says.

Partner spirit. Horsch has a history of cross-continental partnership. In the 1980s, Anderson’s father, Kevin, invented the technology for twin-row and deep banding of fertilizer and seed in South Dakota. Meanwhile, German counterpart Michael Horsch was inventing seeding and tillage equipment. In the early 1990s, Horsch began using Anderson’s opener on his products. In 2000, the two men formed a joint venture to manufacture seeding and tillage equipment in North America. "Some of the most progressive farmers are in the Corn Belt, and their attention to detail and their drive to achieve more precision on very expensive land is exactly what is happening in Europe, as well," Horsch says. "So we find very similar needs both in seeding and tillage."

To watch a video interview with Kory Anderson about how Horsch adapts European machines for the North American market, visit

Horsch History

Anderson Opener becomes available to farmers for placing fertilizer and seed with twin-row and deep banding technology from farmer and inventor Kevin Anderson. Meanwhile in Germany, farmer and inventor Michael Horsch introduces new seeding and tillage tools for farmers throughout the decade.

Horsch Anderson forms, and Horsch equipment begins to be manufactured in North America. Its initial focus: shank-type seeding machines for small grains and soybeans.

First Horsch Anderson Planting System is built.

Joker tillage equipment is tested in North America.

North American version of Joker developed.

Maestro corn planter unveiled.

Limited sales of Maestro corn planter begin in U.S.

Production of Maestro and Joker begins in North Dakota.

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