U.S. agricultural equipment maker AGCO Corp said that a ransomware attack was affecting operations at some of its production facilities, and dealers said tractor sales had been stalled during the crucial planting season. Georgia-based AGCO said that it expects operations at some facilities to be affected for several days and potentially longer.
The ransomware attack comes at a time U.S. agricultural equipment makers were already facing persistent supply chain disruptions and labor strikes that left them unable to meet equipment demand from farmers. AGCO did not disclose the names of the facilities or if any data was stolen. But said that it was still probing the extent of the attack that occurred and working to repair its systems.
Tim Brannon, president and owner of B&G Equipment Inc in Tennessee, told that he has not been able to access AGCO’s website for ordering and looking up parts. He said that they just have to trust that it will be over as soon as possible because they are coming into their busiest time of the year and it will be very damaging to their business and customers. AGCO, which competes with larger rival Deere & Co, sells tractors and combines, manufactures and assembles products in 42 locations worldwide with 1,810 dealerships in North America.
Dealers are now struggling to keep up with orders that were already backlogged. The company told dealers that it was prioritizing the most business critical systems in an e-mail. He said AGCO told him digital systems had been impacted worldwide. AGCO’s shares were down 6% at $125.55 in late afternoon trading. Ransomware attacks have targeted food and fuel companies in the United States in recent years, including the Colonial Pipeline’s oil network and meat processing company JBS. Last autumn, at least three grain handlers in the Midwest were hit with ransomware attacks.