Western Reserve Cooperative: Business is growing along with the number of acres in crop production

(Farm and Dairy photo)Western Reserve Cooperative has added four locations in six years. The latest is in New Wilmington, Pa., and will service Mercer, Lawrence and Butler counties, as well as southern Crawford County.

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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. — Farmers in northwest Pennsylvania have a new choice for their agronomy needs.

Western Reserve Cooperative established a new location in New Wilmington, Pa., in February, at the former Ag-Way and Deerfield Farms Service site. The company has installed a new mixer and upgraded the buildings, which are currently being leased.

“We are very excited to move our business into the east,” said Doug Stiles, agronomy division manager, who is responsible for the co-op’s six ag sites.

Adding locations

Western Reserve Cooperative has added four locations in six years. The company will be moving 40,000 tons of fertilizer out of its six facilities in 2013. Their goal is to produce $4 million through the agronomy side of the business in the New Wilmington location in 2013 and to continue the growth in the next couple of years.

Western Reserve Cooperative is supplying all the agronomy products for crop production. The products include fertilizer, seed, crop protection, herbicides and insecticides. The New Wilmington location will also provide the custom application of fertilizer and spray for farmers.

Service area

The New Wilmington location will service Mercer, Lawrence and Butler counties, as well as southern Crawford County. The site is employing 10 people full time.

The agronomy division at Western Reserve Cooperative is a $30 million division in 2012 and they are already on track to reach between $35-38 million in 2013. There are 40 full-time employees throughout the year and it grows to at least 70 seasonally.

“We have experienced tremendous growth and expect it to keep going in that direction,” said Stiles.

Western Reserve Cooperative has six locations and is based in Ohio with its headquarters in Middlefield. There are two ag sites in Andover and Middlefield and an additional ag site in Cambridge Springs in Crawford County.

The company also has a fertilizer blending plant in Erie County. The service area for the Millville Village location is even reaching into Chautauqua County in New York.

Stiles said there is a need for a full service agronomy and soil servicing in southern New York and they want to fill it, but for now, the company is only filling agronomy needs. He said to be able to fully service the county, a location would need to be established there.

There is a location in Slippery Rock, Pa., but it is limited to customers picking up orders of seed and spray.

The future

Stiles said Western Reserve Cooperative is looking forward to being part of a large market and providing great service.

“We are very excited about the future of agriculture in northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania,” said Stiles.

He commented that dairy production is falling in northeast Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania, but crop production is increasing, with the company notices large jumps in corn and soybean acreage.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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