Kongskilde Industries Inc. recently bought Progressive Farm Products, from Richard Follmer, the Illinois strip-tiller who founded the company in 1981.

“With this acquisition, Kongskilde will now be able to provide a complete range of fertilizer application and soil preparation equipment from one source,” the company said its news release today that announced the acquisition of Follmer’s company, located in Hudson, Ill.

The Kongskilde news release did not specify an acquisition price. Kongskilde is part of the global Kongskilde-group, which is based in Denmark.

“Progressive Farm Products has built a solid reputation within the fertilizer application and strip tillage equipment area throughout the United States and also some parts of Eastern Europe,” Kongskilde's news release said.

“This has been largely due to Progressive Farm Product’s founder, Richard Follmer, and his innovative and leading equipment designs. These designs have resulted in several patents and patent applications being granted. Richard will remain as an integral part of Kongskilde’s R & D staff.”

Follmer says the sale was a good fit for his company, which has 14 employees.

“They were looking for some change and so were we,” Follmer told The Pantagraph newspaper based in Bloomington, Ill. “You don’t want to stay in the same position all the time,” he said. “It’s good for our employees. It gives us more work to do.”

Progressive’s products will continue to be marketed under its brand name and will be offered through Kongskilde’s dealers in North America and its sister companies in Europe and South Africa, according to the company’s news release.

Kongskilde specializes in grain conveying and cleaning equipment, and livestock products for disease control, throughout North America. The company’s soil preparation equipment has been marketed in North America via Kongskilde Ltd., based in Strathroy, Ont., Canada. That operation will shut down in September.

Kongskilde also announced it would consolidate its North American business at Progressive's facility, which is located on 20-acres  Illinois. That facility may be enlarged from about 85,000 square feet to as much as 120,00 square feet this summer or fall, says Hans Rasmussen, Kongskilde’s resident manager.

With the consolidation of Kongskilde’s North American business, 50 to 60 people could eventually work at the site in Illinois, Rasmussen says.

“This facility will also give Kongskilde a much-need production facility for our current soil preparation equipment as well as continued production of the Progressive fertilizer application equipment and strip tillage product program,” according to the company’s news release.