Created: 03/25/2014 6:08 PM KAALtv.com
By: Justin Thompson-Gee
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- This week is National Agriculture Week and Wednesday was National Ag Day. Farmers are itching to work on their fields and this year some in our area have a brand new fertilizer plant to work with.
The Northern Country Coop opened it’s $4 million 13,000 ton capacity plant this month and had an open house Wednesday for community members and customers. “We’re basically bringing in fertilizer, mixing it and hauling it to our members,” says Scot Janssen, general manager for the coop.
Agronomy manager, Nathan Augustine explains just how large and efficient the new plant is, “It’s a 400 ton an hour receiving leg, so we can unload a semi in about five minutes, a rail car takes about fifteen minutes which is about eight times faster than what we had before.”
A pay loader with a three cubic bucket takes the fertilizer and dumps it into a floor grate which brings the fertilizer up a tower that can hold 220 tons in ten different bins. “It’ll drop product out of each overhead bin into a scale, that scale then drops down into two twelve ton vertical mixers, “ says Augustine.
From the mixers, it’s onto the trucks and sprayed onto farms.
In addition to efficiency, safety is a priority for the facility, “This load out area that we have is 100% containment; there’s no drains, there’s no cracks, “ says Augustine.
The plant is currently operational but needs weather to warm before business can begin Augustine explains, “We got frozen ground, we don’t want to lose a product and have it wash away so we got to wait for the ground to get fit, and then we’re ready to go”.