Farming & Fisheries

FARM CLASSICS: 175 years of Massey – and the Irish link

November 24th, 2022 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

Massey Ferguson proudly displaying both their heritage and latest tractors last week at the SIMA machinery show, Paris.

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FARM CLASSICS with Peter O'Brien

STEEPED in both agricultural heritage and history, 2022 marks 175 years of the Massey Ferguson tractor brand. 

To celebrate this significant milestone, Massey Ferguson is manufacturing a limited number of special edition tractors across six of its current bestselling tractors. 

These will have a number of special 3D metallic chrome 175th anniversary decals, but most significantly will have each side of the bonnet painted in Ferguson 20 ‘Little grey Fergie’ grey, as a fitting gesture to the tractor that really established the company.

The company was initially founded by Daniel Massey in Ontario, Canada 1847. Having spent many years farming the land, Massey decided to focus on machinery manufacturing and repairs. The first of many mergers occurred in 1891 when the Massey merged with A Harris and Sons to form ‘Massey - Harris’. 

Across the water in Co Down, inventor and engineer Harry Ferguson had already designed, built and flown his own aeroplane by 1909. In the following years, he manufactured agricultural implements and designed and patented the world famous 3-point linkage with draft control now known as the Ferguson System.

Following disagreements with Ford, assistance from David Brown and an alliance with the Standard Motor Company, the first Ferguson 20 rolled off the production line in Banner Lane, Coventry in 1952. In 1953, Massy Harris merged with Ferguson Ltd to form the Massey – Harris – Ferguson company, shortened to the Massey Ferguson, that is now a household name, in 1956. 

Unfortunately, due to streamlining by Massey Ferguson’s umbrella company AGCO, the Banner Lane factory closed on December 24th 2002 after 56 years of tractor production, totalling an incredible 3,307,996 tractors. 

The Ferguson 20 had a central role in this production achievement with 517,651 ‘Little grey Fergies’ produced during its 10-year manufacturing run – accounting for almost 16 % of all tractors produced!

At the 2022 SIMA agricultural show in Paris last week, Massey Ferguson were proud to display their heritage with a Ferguson 20 taking centre stage alongside a special 175th commemorative edition 5S tractor. Even with the latest MF fingertip technology on display, the Ferguson 20 drew an equally large crowd and was a focal point for discussion. 

Massey Ferguson now has eight manufacturing plants globally, with Beauvais in France being the largest. Coincidently, this year the Beauvais factory has produced its one millionth tractor, the same year that Massey Ferguson celebrates its 175th anniversary. 

• Contact Peter at [email protected] or see Instagram @flashphotoscork



TE-20 VS MF 5S 145


32hp vs 145hp


Perkins P3 Vs Agco

Years of manufacture

1945-1956 vs 2020

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