Farmers bank on crop diversity

John Schmitz/For the Capital Press Corvallis New Holland sales manager Bob McKee with a Great Plains no-till seed drill.

Dealership sells variety of equipment for variety of crops


For the Capital Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Willamette Valley farmers are meeting the challenge of diversification, according to Corvallis New Holland sales manager Bob McKee.

"This valley, especially the west side, was really diversified when I came here in 1994, and it got away from that and I think for survival it's going to have to go back to (that)," said McKee, who will be helping man the dealership's booth at the Willamette Valley Ag Expo.

Some of the alternative crops that have returned to traditional annual ryegrass seed country in Linn and Benton counties in recent years are wheat, blueberries, hazelnuts, alfalfa and even soybeans.

As a result of some of the diversification, Corvallis New Holland, which is owned by Greg Loe, has seen more small tractor sales, from 200 horsepower on down, to work specialty crops, McKee said.

At the expo, Corvallis New Holland will have on display an 80-horsepower tractor with applications in both hazelnuts and vineyards.

In addition to the New Holland line of tractors, the dealer also carries Great Plains cultivating equipment and no-till seed drills.

Corvallis New Holland also supplies dairy farmers with skid steer loaders, manure spreaders and other materials-handling equipment.

One of the chief selling points of New Holland, 90 percent of which was purchased by Fiat from Ford in 1991, is its focus on technology, McKee said.

Corvallis New Holland, which covers the valley from south of Salem to the Umpqua region, is believed to be one of the oldest New Holland dealerships in the Willamette Valley.


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