AGCO planning expansion

FAIRMONT – AGCO has announced it will expand its Jackson facility over the next three years, at a cost of $42 million.

“We are going to increase throughput capacity by 20 percent,” said senior project manager Scott Berglund.

The expansion will include a 30,000-square foot building and additions to current buildings, but Berglund said the bulk of the investment comes in the form of technology.

“We are streamlining our process,” he said. “It involves more precise machining and welding.”

The project will be completed in seven stages. Stage one is the construction of the new building, which should be completed by the fall. That will be followed by the delivery and installation of new equipment, set to be up and running by the end of the year.

“We want to increase capacity and improve our quality through technology,” Berglund said.

The expansion will create 75 jobs within three years, with the bulk of the new hires taking place in 2014.

Those add to the 1,110 jobs AGCO currently provides – 1,400 if temporary employees are included in the count.

Berglund said the company draws employees from as wide a range as Fairmont, Worthington, Estherville and the lakes area in Iowa.

The increased space and new technology will help the company keep up with demand, which Berglund said is rising in both the wheeled tractor division and the sprayer market.

“Things are really taking off here,” Berglund said.

In June 2012, AGCO completed an expansion that allowed it to take on production of the company’s Massey Ferguson and Challenger wheeled row-crop tractors. The tractors had been produced in France before they were moved to Jackson.

“The expansion a couple of years ago was a springboard for this expansion,” Berglund said. “Without that expansion, this expansion probably wouldn’t be happening.”

Corporate AGCO’s decision to expand the Jackson campus speaks well of the local operation.

“This is really good news for AGCO investing in this area,” Berglund said. “We are really proud of the cooperation from corporate AGCO and both state and local leaders. … It is just all really good news.”