New Alvord fertilizer facility complete

Cooperative Farmers Elevator celebrated the completion of its new agronomy center fertilizer plant in Alvord with an open house event July 20. Jim Jensen, the regional operations manager for Cooperative Farmers Elevator, said they were very pleased with the turnout.

“It was a year-and-a-half construction process, so to get from the beginning to being able to give public tours was a good feeling,” said Jensen. “We have it fully completed now and we’ve taken some fertilizer out of here already, and we expect to really get things going this fall.”

Kristy Knutson, the location manager for Cooperative Farmers Elevator in Alvord, explained the new facility is a big upgrade that replaces three former plants. “We had already been pulling out of one location to serve multiple locations already, but now everything is centralized here.”

The building is about 350 feet long and holds just a little less than 30,000 tons of fertilizer. “This building was built because we wanted to be more efficient and be able to deliver things to our customers in a more efficient fashion,” said Jensen. “Some of our facilities were getting old and were in disrepair, so this was an investment that made it so we could process fertilizer a lot quicker and be able to manage more inventory.”

The new agronomy center is located about a half-mile northwest of Alvord, at the corner of 210th Street and Eagle Avenue. The facility stores dry fertilizer ingredients as well as micronutrients used for custom fertilizer applications. The plant’s 250-ton tower blends the products on-the-go.

“The plant is pretty much automated,” explained Jensen. “We use wireless communication between our equipment here to communicate with the system, to change bins and things like that, but otherwise it’s just a lot of technology we’ve got in automation.”

The 250-ton tower serves as the hub for the plant’s top-of-the-line technology. “You can pretty much push a button on the computer and the system will make the fertilizer for you. The tower blends it all together. You just tell it which one you want,” said Knutson.

“I think the main purpose for us to do this is that it’s going to allow us to inventory more products,” continued Jensen. “We’re going to have more micronutrients and more products than we’ve had in the past. We’ll be able to mix things a lot faster and get it through the plant a lot faster, and we expect to deliver probably within about a 40-mile radius.”

He said the plant has a receiving leg that can offload fertilizer from trucks and bring it into the building at a rate of 250 tons per hour. From there, the fertilizer can be blended with more products than ever before to make all kinds of custom fertilizer applications as well as grass seed fertilizer.

Knutson explained that, while the building is certainly impressive in size, there’s the potential it could get even bigger in the future. “The plant is built so we can double capacity if we want to. We would need to put another tower in but it’s set up so we have that option.”

The new facility will provide services to the northwest corner of Iowa and even into South Dakota. “Wherever we have customers that use dry fertilizers, it will be coming out of here, at least in this corner of the company,” said Jensen. “And as we get more efficient, we believe we’ll be able to serve even more customers.”

Comments are closed.

  • Longtime quilting hobby leads to fun and success

    September 27th, 2017

    When it comes to hobbies, quilting isn’t something that is at the top of most people’s lists.

    Good news for hospital project

    September 27th, 2017

    Good news for hospital project After more than eight months of waiting, the Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital board of trustees received an important piece of news regarding the new hospital and

    Mayoral and council races set for Nov. 7

    September 27th, 2017

    Residents in all eight communities in Lyon County will be asked to head to the polls for

  • Going LOCO for HOCO

    September 27th, 2017

    Students at Central Lyon High School are preparing for 2017 homecoming with the theme “Going LOCO this HOCO.” Homecoming will be celebrated

    Request for animal permit brought to city council

    September 21st, 2017

    A Rock Rapids resident has requested an animal permit in order to begin working with animals she feels would be ideal for a mini zoo, an attraction she says many people want to see back in the community.

    New faces voted to local school boards

    September 21st, 2017

    Area voters headed to the polls for local school board elections across Lyon County on Tuesday, Sept.

  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Sports Tweets

  • Latest News

    Mass band show is coordinated effort

    A great deal of time, coordination, effort and, of course, practice goes into the production of a mass band

    Donald Duane Hager

    Donald Duane Hager 91 Valley Springs, South Dakota September 23, 2017 Donald “Don” Duane Hager, 91, of Valley Springs, South Dakota, passed away Saturday, Sept.

    Dorothy M. Den Hartog

    Dorothy M. Den Hartog 88 Sanborn, Iowa September 21, 2017 Dorothy M. Den Hartog, 88, of Sanborn, Iowa, passed away Thursday, Sept.