‘Cutting-edge’ tractors displayed

More than a dozen agricultural products dealers from around the Northwest converged on Pine Grove last week to see and test cutting-edge tractors made in Italy.

The two-day sales meeting sponsored by Antonio Carraro America showcased a half dozen compact tractors designed specifically for use in orchards and vineyards.

“Our company just produces compact tractors between 20 and 90 horsepower,” said Oliver Stamm, executive vice president of Antonio Carraro. The tractors on hand Thursday and Friday ranged from specialized spray tractors to fully reversible, low gravity tractors designed for narrow vineyard rows and steep hillsides.

“These are low profile tractors designed to fit into orchards so they don’t damage the fruit,” said Bruce Clark, sales manager for Antonio Carraro. According to Clark, Carraro tractors have long been the leader in Europe for orchard and vineyard use. The tractors have been sold in the United States since 1990, but the company decided to establish an American division in 2001 to create a stronger presence in this country.

Carraro has “made a huge investment” in its American division, says Stamm, establishing a head sales office in Napa, Calif., and a large parts and service headquarters in Wisconsin.

According to Stamm, Carraro has found a large market — and increasing demand — for its tractors in Oregon, Washington and California.

Steve Short, president of Valley Ag Service, Inc., in Parkdale, became a new Carraro dealer after last week’s meeting.

“Unlike the rest of the compact tractors, these are designed for orchard and vineyard use,” said Short, who will be the only Carraro dealer in the Mid-Columbia. “That’s what I like about them.”

Valley Ag Service will carry a whole line of Antonio Carraro tractors. For information call Steve Short at 352-7576.

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