Kverneland buys into Italian ROC Company
The ROC company produces a specialist range of ‘mergers’. The machines combine the action of a pick-up reel with the transfer action of a grouper belt to bring one or more swaths together ready for harvesting.
Aimed primarily at alfalfa growers, biogas plants and other large growers of hay and straw, on both sides of the Atlantic, the machines are claimed to be far more gentle on the crops being swathed.
This is particularly important for alfalfa growers, for the plant tends to be quite brittle when dry. When harvested as forage, it usually contains around 18-20% crude protein, making it a valuable crop, and not one to be wasted.
The machines use tines to lift the swathes onto a transfer belt which then places it to whichever side is required.
The advantage being that the crop is not dragged across the ground as the tines of a rake would, resulting in high losses through leaf shatter.
The company was formed in 1996 and is currently owned and run by Denis and Raffaele Ubaldi, who will continue in their present roles once the deal is complete.
By taking an 80% share of the company, Shingo Hanada (CEO of Kverneland Group) believes that –
the ROC Company is further strengthening Kverneland and Kubota Group’s strategic commitment to hay and forage harvesting by adding the important merger product line and achieving synergies between the two companies.”
Meanwhile, the Ubaldi brothers said:
We see great opportunities and synergies in becoming part of Kverneland- and Kubota Group. Being part of this group with a strong global footprint offers important strengths in many areas such as product development, manufacturing, and not least in the important further digitalisation of farming systems and solutions.”
Future prospects for ROC
Taking on board an Italian company involved in the production of forage machinery for drier climates may not have an immediate impact on the larger UK market, as the products are not aimed at grassland farmers.
However, it does confirm that Kverneland, now under the umbrella of Kubota, finds itself in a strong enough position to acquire companies that strengthen its presence in the hay and forage sector throughout Europe and America.