CARROLLTON, Ohio — The Carrollton Farmers Exchange is expanding its agronomy division with the construction of a 1,100 ton dry fertilizer bulk storage and blending facility, and the addition of a liquid fertilizer plant with 44,000-gallon capacity.
The new buildings sit behind the existing Exchange mill and feed complex on Second Street in Carrollton. A grand opening will be held at the site Nov. 9.
The company’s agronomy business has grown significantly over the last 10 years, according to General Manager Bruce Burgett, particularly over the last few years as more farmers exited the dairy industry and switched to grain farming only. (Scroll down to hear more from Burgett in a video.)
“When you look at our growth over 10 years, this is the trend,” he said. “They’re not going to milk cows again.”
The company had a small blend plant, but had little inventory storage space, and had to rely on a constant flow of material trucked to Carrollton.
“We were just having a lot of challenges keeping product in, with the growth that we’ve had,” Burgett said. “We needed to do something.”
When lots became available adjacent to the land-locked Exchange site in downtown Carrollton three years ago, the company decided the time was right to expand.
The dry fertilizer facility will include a 10 ton blender, and, overall, the expansion gives the company five times the capacity it previously had.
Construction started in June, and the dry fertilizer plant should be open in November. The liquid fertilizer facility will be in place prior to the spring planting season.
Eye on environment
Burgett said the liquid fertilizer expansion also gives farmers an option for liquid applications, including starter fertilizers, nitrogen extenders, micronutrients and foliar feeds. The products give farmers more precise application, Burgett said, which is important from an environmental standpoint.
“We can put on less product and still achieve optimum yields.”
The company will be carrying products from the Michigan-based Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers, which owns a 580-acre research facility and conducts in-field tests as well.
“We’re really excited about the technology and the research from their product line,” said Exchange Comptroller Henry Moore, who will be the new general manager when Burgett retires Dec. 31.
The company’s agronomist, Charlie Kail, will continue to work with farmers on their site-specific needs. In addition to bulk delivery service, Farmers Exchange also maintains eight spreader applicators available for rent.
Carrollton Farmers Exchange serves Carroll County and surrounding counties.
By Susan Crowell