Salford buys Valmar

Salford has purchased Manitoba’s Valmar Airflo.

The southern Ontario based company has made inroads into the prairie market in recent years with air seeding and vertical tillage equipment. It has also introduced its more aggressive tillage tools to Western Canada.

The company recently announced the purchase of Valmar, a well-known short-line machinery maker.

Valmar’s granular and fertilizer applicators have been well-known since the late 1970s, when dry herbicide products such as Avadex be-came popular.

The equipment is used in larger-scale fertilizer spreading, inter-row seeding, grass and small seeded forage applications, canola planting with harrow bars and the growing cover-crop trend in the United States.

Air driven product delivery with precision metering is the basis of the Valmar lineup and was one of agriculture innovations created by Charlie Balmer, a short-line manufacturer from southern Manitoba.

Both companies share a similar story: mechanically inclined European immigrants from farms received agriculture degrees and came to Canada as young men, where they began working as mechanics but eventually started designing and building farm machinery. Both started their businesses from small shops in the late 1970s.

Balmer was also known for Ag Chem, LOR*AL and Willmar products, including high clearance sprayers, which are still manufactured under license.

Jake Rozendaal began his business in Salford, Ont., building cultivators, plows and V-box manure spreaders.

Salford has expanded to Osceola, Iowa, and Omsk, Russia, and is now owned by GenNx360 Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on agriculture and industrial business-to-business companies.

Valmar’s operations are located in Elie, Man., and Salford officials say it plans to expand that business in the southern Manitoba location.

michael.raine@producer.com

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