In The Heart Of The City

Employee unloading fertilizer, Wilbur-Ellis

Driving through tiny Grant, MI north on route MI-37, visitors will notice two things right away. For one thing, this town of less than 1,000 residents has two gas stations, located about 1 mile apart. The second curiosity is the main city government building, which is located directly across the street from a Wilbur-Ellis facility. As Case DeYoung, branch manager for the outlet, explains, being this close to the center of town has served as a great catalyst for Wilbur-Ellis when it comes to environmental stewardship.

“Anyone visiting Grant will likely pass right by our facility on their way in,” says DeYoung. “So we have to do our best to keep everything clean and safe as possible. That way, visitors to Grant will have a good first impression that our company is not only a successful business, but a good community steward as well. Also, our city leaders are right across the street from us. If there was a problem, we would definitely hear about it.” It’s this level of commitment to its city and the environment that has helped the Wilbur-Ellis Grant facility win a regional honor in the 2008 Environmental Respect Awards competition.

“We are very flattered to have won this award,” says DeYoung. “It’s always been important for our company to put its best foot forward when it comes to protecting the environment around us and everyone’s been behind this effort 100 percent. It’s nice to see this acknowledged on a more public stage.”

Fruit & Row Crops

In many ways, the mix of grower-customers serviced by Wilbur-Ellis Grant is unique, with a mix of fruit/vegetable and row crop growers. In fact, of the region’s 14 salespeople, three are dedicated exclusively to catering to the needs of the area’s apple and cherry growers. “Besides doing about 50% of our business in fertilizer with crop protection products and seed in the mix, we have a pretty active business when it comes to testing fruit for local growers to help them increase their yields and make more money,” says DeYoung.

Given this market dynamic, a good portion of the Wilbur-Ellis Grant facility is dedicated to the storage and processing of crop nutrients. The outlet — which the company purchased in 2000 from Northern Star Minerals — has seen many upgrades in the intervening years. This includes the addition of 1,000 tons of dry fertilizer storage, 300,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer storage, and the construction of a precision blending building, completed in 2007, which is used to “melt” dry fertilizer into precision blends for grower-customers.

Of course, environmental considerations play an important role in Wilbur-Ellis Grant’s operations. “Our facility has concrete pads at all load-in, load-out points,” says DeYoung. “There is a separate diked loading pad for liquid fertilizer that uses a touchscreen system for automated filling. Dry fertilizer is loaded out using two covered belt conveyors with telescoping chutes to act as dust controls. We are also planning to add rings to our two 8-ton TriTon mixers this season that will serve as additional dust controls.”

Besides these measures, Wilbur-Ellis Grant also takes similar steps with its crop protection products. In its chemical warehouse, the outlet features a washing station for cleaning used shuttles. Also, all rinsate is reused through the company’s normal agronomic production.

“Right now, there are lots of opportunities for our business, and it’s an incredibly exciting time for us all,” concludes DeYoung. “We seem to be getting busier every year and we want to show our pride in our workplace and to our community. There are lots of positive incentives for us to be good neighbors, and plenty of negative ones if we’re not. It’s important for us to be doing the right thing environmentally, all the time.”

Leave a Reply

Eric Sfiligoj Stories

Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Eric SfiligojPrecision Ag Could Shine In Increased Spotlight On Agriculture
August 24, 2015
By any measure, 2015 is turning into one of the most challenging years agriculture has ever experienced. All throughout good Read More
Eric SfiligojAn Interesting Water Issue On The West Coast
August 17, 2015
A few weeks ago at the 2015 Environmental Respect Awards event in Wilmington, DE, one of the speakers talked about Read More
Green Roof
Eric SfiligojEnvironmental Respect: Going Green In The Middle Of Philadelphia
August 10, 2015
During the recent 2015 Environmental Respect Awards event, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, winners were treated to a day-long tour Read More
Top 100 Articles
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
Latest News
StewardshipBee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers
August 31, 2015
The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Read More
2015 ShowStopper Award, MAGIE
EquipmentA ShowStopper From Case IH: The Patriot 2250
August 31, 2015
For nine years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with not only Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, FMC Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Platform
August 31, 2015
FMC Corp. and Monsanto Co. announced today an expanded agreement to continue their participation in the Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Read More
Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
CPS Morenci receiving its 4R certification
StewardshipCPS Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified I…
August 31, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, MI, has been Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsWhat’s Next For Monsanto, Syngenta?
August 28, 2015
After dropping its $47 billion bid to take over Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta, Monsanto may be turning its focus to Read More
Golden Harvest Corn stalks
Crop InputsMonsanto: Syngenta Not The Only Horse In Crop Protectio…
August 28, 2015
Monsanto Co, having ditched an audacious $46 billion (£30 billion) offer for Syngenta AG, may downshift to a humbler strategy Read More
ManagementConsolidation hits and a miss; And a look at China’s ch…
August 28, 2015
As Monsanto suspends its pursuit of Syngenta, consolidation news at the retail and distribution level heats up. CropLife magazine’s Executive Read More
Corn Field
MicronutrientsHuma Gro Introduces New Boron Liquid Nutrient Formulati…
August 28, 2015
BORO-MAX, a new boron (B) 10% liquid nutrient formulation, has been added to the Huma Gro product line. This new Read More
Crop InputsNFU: Monsanto Decision To Withdraw Syngenta Bid ‘…
August 26, 2015
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said the organization was very pleased by the news that Monsanto has withdrawn Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto Withdraws Bid For Syngenta
August 26, 2015
Monsanto Co. abandoned its latest effort to acquire Syngenta AG, the world’s top maker of pesticides, after a sweetened bid Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Comments On Monsanto Announcement
August 26, 2015
The Board of Syngenta confirms that it received a verbal proposal from Monsanto to acquire the company at a price Read More
Case IH Patriot 2250 Sprayer
EquipmentHigh-powered Case IH Patriot 2250 Sprayer Pushes Throug…
August 26, 2015
Engineered with more muscle, the new 660-gallon-capacity Patriot 2250 sprayer features best-in-class horsepower, along with the fuel efficiency that comes Read More
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Eric SfiligojPrecision Ag Could Shine In Increased Spotlight On Agri…
August 24, 2015
By any measure, 2015 is turning into one of the most challenging years agriculture has ever experienced. All throughout good Read More
ManagementCrop Conditions In Minnesota and Traveling Time
August 21, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiilgoj discuss the crop outlook from a field trip to Minnesota and upcoming travel plans. Read More