Buhler closing Farm King plant in Fargo, ND

Winnipeg-based tractor and farm equipment manufacturer Buhler Industries is shutting down one of its production facilities in the northern U.S., citing “unpredictability in the agriculture commodities market” and fluctuations in the exchange rate as reasons for the closure.

The company behind Versatile and Farm King equipment says it will cease operations in Fargo, North Dakota, at the end of September.

Production of Farm King lines currently made in Fargo will be moved to Buhler’s factory in Willmar, Minnesota, which also makes Farm King equipment, as well as Versatile sprayers.

“This change will reduce excess manufacturing capacity and will enable the company to remain competitive without compromising quality,” says a statement from Buhler.

The company says the Fargo facility currently employs around 35 people. Buhler acquired the plant from Alloway Industries — a joint venture between Deere and Woods Equipment Company — in 2002.

Buhler still has manufacturing facilities in Morden and Winnipeg, Manitoba; Vegreville, Alberta; and Willmar, Minnesota.

The company, which is majority-owned by Russian combine manufacturer Rostselmash, reported a net loss of $5.5 million in the first quarter of 2020, versus first quarter losses of $4.4 million in 2019 and $5.8 million in 2018.

Buhler’s year-end net loss for 2019 came in at $29.5 million, an improvement compared to a net loss of $49.5 million the prior year. 2019 also saw the company sell some of its intellectual property and sign a deal to manufacture Kubota’s M8 tractor series — the Japanese company’s highest horsepower machines to date.

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