KRONE History

KRONE – farm machinery made in Germany for more than 100 years

KRONE, manufacturing modern forage harvesting equipment to the highest quality standards and at competitive prices at the small village of Spelle in northern Germany, is committed to continuously push the efficiency of farm machinery to ever higher levels. It is the right blend of innovation, expertise and customer focus that has made KRONE one of the German market leaders and the long-term market leader in disc mowers and round balers. The full product range comprises disc mowers, tedders, rotor rakes, forage wagons as well as round and square balers and includes the two SP harvesters BiG M and BiG X. BiG M is a high-capacity mower conditioner that works at widths of 13.20 m. The BiG X precision-chop forage harvester is currently the world's most powerful forage harvester. KRONE markets BiG X in various power bands that range from 500 hp to more than 1,000 hp. As the first mover in the agricultural sector, KRONE has again and again presented spearheading innovations in forage technology. After all, advanced farm machinery is absolutely essential to make farming a viable operation. For example, KRONE was the first manufacturer to introduce a round baler with integral wrapper – our Combi Pack baler wrapper that bales and wraps in one operation. Our BiG M high-capacity SP mower conditioner quickly set up new and welcomed bench marks in the farming community. After all, there are currently more than 1,000 units working in the fields around the world.

The beginnings 1897-1906


Bernhard Krone set himself up as a blacksmith, rented a small workshop (front right in the picture) in the Westphalian town Ochtrup and married Anna Evers from Spelle.


Bernhard and Anna Krone established the company as a forge and workshop in Spelle. This was the foundation of what would grow into the famous Emsland company, with operations all over the world.

The second generation 1924-1935


The two eldest sons of the family Krone, Bernard and Heinrich, take over the management of the parental company, since their father Bernhard had taken ill in the early 1920s. They began to produce small agricultural machines based on their own constructions.


Bernard and Heinrich Krone manufactured the first drinking trough, which is operated by the cow itself on the field.


KRONE becomes Lanz dealer for the Bentheim County and the Region of Emsland. Until 1952, it was Bernard Krone who sold every single Lanz Bulldog tractor in the county of Bentheim and Emsland. By then, he had become the most successful seller of Bulldogs in all of Germany.

After the war 1945-1957


After the end of World War II KRONE quickly resumed the production in Spelle and by the end of 1945, the number of personnel was with 30 employees at its pre-war level.


It wasn't long before the forge and the production halls had outgrown their activities. A new building was finished and at the end of 1948, it was ready to take up production of earth scoops, disc harrows, grubbers, fertiliser spreaders and rubber-tyred trailers.


KRONE launched their first manure spreader “Optimat”. It was developed by the engineer Bernd Deupmann and the master mechanic Franz Hohberger. By the mid-1990's, KRONE had sold around 200,000 manure spreaders "Optimat".

The third generation 1962-1973


The three cousins Bernard (son of Bernard Krone), Heinz and Walter (the sons of Heinrich Krone) enter the company as the third generation. The company turnover was around DM 17.5 million.


ince the labour market in Spelle and the surrounding region was depleted in the 1960s, Bernard Krone bought a site in the structurally undeveloped region around Werlte to build todays commercial vehicle site.

KRONE began to produce its "Alleslader" or multi-loader, the company's first trailer that loaded and unloaded grass, hay, straw and silage unassisted.


Up to the end of the 1960s, the share of KRONE machines exported grew steadily. From 1968, KRONE in France was represented by Bernard KRONE France.


KRONE launches the first three-way tipper.

Specialisation in Green Fodder Harvesting 1977-2006


KRONE was turning its attention more and more to green fodder harvesting presented its first round baler in 1977. The constructor Wilhelm Ahler's idea was to adopt the principle of the circulating chain elevator from the Optimat manure spreader.


KRONE's first self-propelled machine caused a sensation when it was launched at the DLG 1984 in Frankfurt, and created a great level of interest in the trade press. However, there was no great demand for the Tillage Trac from customers. With a purchase price of 120.000 DM plus tilling equipment, the Tillage Trac was to remain a flash in the pan, and never entered serial production.


The rotary tedder and the rotary rake complete the KRONE grassland product range.


KRONE produces the first large square balers BiG Pack.

In 1993, KRONE introduced the KTL paint treatment plant and changed its colours from red and beige to green and beige.


KRONE ceased the production of tillage machinery and specialized in forage solutions.


On 20th May 1996 the first self-propelled mower BiG M was presented. By the year 2008 the 1000th BiG M will be produced in Spelle.


In 1997, KRONE launched the world's first combined baler and wrapper, known as the Combi Pack, at the Agritechnica show. KRONE's sophisticated engineering proved a success and by 2005, there were more than 3,000 Combi Packs in use througout the world.


The BiG M was so powerful that it even claimed two world records for itself in the 2001 Guinness Book of Records. In June 1999, the high-performance mower mowed a grass area of 315.1 hectares in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania in 24 hours. This impressive achievement was the first world record. The second one was won by the BiG M for its one-hour performance of 15.2 hectares.


On 20th May 2000 the first BiG X was presented. Almost 80 contractors, dealers, representatives and journalists followed the presentation of the first self-propelled forage harvester manufactured by KRONE.


The 2.000 m² "Drive & Train" training and exhibition centre was opened in 2001. In addition to classrooms here, customers, employees and the public can visit an exhibition hall and the KRONE shop, which sells a wide range of merchandising articles. Part of Drive & Train is the 18.000 m² outside area, which is used for test driving KRONE machines.


KRONE presented the BiG X 1000 at the Agritechnica in Hanover. KRONE is again benchmark for performance and technical innovation.


A monument was erected in honour of Bernhard Krone on the 100th anniversary of his setting up his business.

The fourth generation 2007-today


The current CEO Bernard Krone is the fourth generation entering the company.

At the Agritechnica 2007, KRONE receives the DLG gold medal for the new round baler series Comprima.


KRONE launches the world's first non-stop baler wrapper Ultima at the Agritechnica 2011 in Hanover. The KRONE Ultima bales, wraps and unloads the bales on the move. This highly innovative round baler was awarded with the DLG gold medal.


As part of the project "MBK 2015" the new KRONE logistics centre was officially opened in May 2012. This investment of around 2.6 mio Euro shows KRONE's loyalty to Spelle and the region. With a floor area of approximately 4,000 square metres, the new building has four general loading bays plus one given over specifically to handling containers. An average of 20 to 30 HGVs are turned around each day, enough to transport between 120 and 150 machines.


In April 2013 the KRONE training centre is opened, where around 5,000 end customers, service staff and dealers pass through KRONE's training programme every year.

KRONE invests around 10 mio Euro in a new production hall for the self-propelled machines BiG X and BiG M. This hall doubles the forager production capacity from 300 to up to 600 machines.


The new KRONE Technology Centre houses nearly 500 employees from a range of departments, including Research & Development, Testing & Prototyping, IT, Procurement, Technical Marketing, Product Management and Project Management.This investment of around 14.5 mio Euro rounds off the Maschinenfabrik 2015 project. KRONE has been investing systematically and on a large scale at the Spelle site over recent years to increase the efficiency of production and all associated processes in the agricultural machinery plant.


The Premos 5000, the world's first mobile pellet harvester, has been awarded a gold medal by the German Agricultural Society (DLG) at the Agritechnica 2015.


As of 1st July 2016 KRONE is represented by its own subsidiary in France.


Debut of the new BiG X 1180, the world's most powerful forage harvester. The extra engine power is generated by the 24.24-litre, 850kW/1156hp Liebherr V12 engine.


Future Lab in Lingen: KRONE Validation Centre officially inaugurated.


Combined Powers is the name of a joint KRONE / Lemken project and design concept – the autonomous ‘process unit’ that consists of a drive unit and various implements. After passing trials in cultivating, ploughing, sowing, mowing, tedding and raking last year, innovative concept will be integrated in the well-proven forage harvesting and tillage systems of the two companies.