Russian engineering group Concern Tractor Plants has begun investing in Western farm implement technology by acquiring the Austrian tillage and seeding equipment firm Vogel & Noot Landmaschinen from private owners.

The move — albeit on a much smaller scale — follows the 2007 acquisition of Canada's Buhler Industries by Rostselmash, the leading harvest equipment manufacturer in Russia.

Concern Tractor Plants has been a Vogel & Noot distributor for the past 2 years. It produces construction, earth moving and agricultural equipment and has become better known in farm industry circles through some high-profile joint ventures.

CTP has teamed up with AGCO to produce Sisu diesel engines in Russia and is distributing Same Deutz-Fahr heavy-weight tractors in the blue and white colors of its AgromashHolding unit. The partners are considering a similar arrangement for SDF's harvesting machinery.

Vogel & Noot Landmaschinen claims to be Europe's biggest manufacturer of moldboard plows but also produces seed drills and tine, disc and powered cultivators at factories in Slovakia, Hungary, Germany and Austria.

The company has changed hands twice since being sold by the troubled Austrian industrial engineering group that once owned it.

Vogel & Noot managing director Gernot Karlsböck is positive about the firm's recent performance and prospects under new ownership.

"The plow enjoys great popularity again and we experienced especially high demand from large farms, which resulted in a higher increase in sales of semi-mounted implements than other types," he says. "The company's affiliation with a large concern is the best pre-condition for continued stable growth at the same speed as in the past years."

In 2008, the company recorded sales worth $110 million at current exchange rates, up 46% on 2007, and spent almost $13.5 million on improved production facilities at all its factories. It acquired the Holder crop sprayer business in Germany to expand the crop tillage orientated product range.