Built To Surpass

Ritter fuel tanks

For visitors to Ritter Crop Services, Inc. in West Ridge, AR, finding the outlet isn’t that hard. After exiting I-55 and passing by fields of rice and soybeans for a couple of miles, a pair of structures loom in the distance. One is an old barn, populated by various pieces of farm equipment placed here and there. Directly across the road is a brand new building, surrounded by a security fence and numerous safety signs. This is Ritter’s West Ridge facility. For miles in any direction, no other houses or buildings are visible.

Despite its remote location, Facility Manager Lynn Skaggs says the outlet was built with an eye toward safeguarding its surroundings and neighbors. “As an outdoorsman, I know the importance of respect for the environment,” says Skaggs. “We consider it a partnership with the grower to care for our natural resources. The preservation of these resources is the most important step our company can take in assuring our future.”

With this philosophy in play, the Ritter West Ridge facility has been named a regional winner in the 2008 Environmental Respect Awards program. “I was surprised that we won, but it feels great,” he says of the honor. “As a company, Ritter has done a lot with the environmental business each year, and we have done what we could to follow through on that approach.”

Going Above And Beyond

To illustrate this point, Skaggs points to the construction of the West Ridge outlet itself. When it was first being built in 2006, Ritter went out of its way to make the facility environmentally friendly. “This location was designed to exceed current EPA and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality regulations,” he says. “All the concrete floors are sealed with an impervious coating to prevent any spilled chemicals from being absorbed. All materials transfers of non-bulk chemicals to and from the warehouse, bulk chemical transfers from the tank to the mini-bulk shuttles, and even seed transfers are conducted on concrete pads, and floors. Outside the warehouse, all transfers of chemicals to the trucks are completed on concrete pads and seed treated with chemicals are transferred with closed conveyors with concrete pads under both for easy clean-up and to prevent accidental chemical release into the soil or groundwater.”

Earlier this year, the facility added a 1,600-gallon bulk chemical tank in its warehouse, complete with a spill bucket and extra absorbent nearby. The tank itself will soon be installed with an overfill alarm. Another recent addition is the installation of a pair of double-walled fuel storage tanks, which do not require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits as a result of their design.

Besides crop protection products, seed, and fuel, Ritter West Ridge also serves as a water depot for its grower-customers. At the front of the property sits a water filling station, connected to the nearby Little River Community Water System. Even here, says Skaggs, the environmental aspects of this service are considered. “To prevent potential cross-contamination to the water supply, an air brake is used when customers fill their water wagons or buggies,” he says.

Elsewhere in the community, Ritter West Ridge works with the fire departments of the nearby towns of Etowah and Keiser to hold drills and discuss the company’s Emer­gency Action and Fire Prevention Plan. The outlet has also partnered with Delta Plastics to serve as a recycling collection site for poly tubing, which helps to reduce on-farm burning of these products.

“By showing respect for the environment, we assume a role of caretaker for the land, water, and air,” concludes Skaggs. “The Earth should be treated as an item that we have borrowed from someone. We should take care of it and be sure to pass it to the next owner in better shape than when we received it. Environmental respect is an investment in everyone’s future as well as our company’s.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

StewardshipA Multi-Layered Approach To Water Quality
October 6, 2014
Illinois event highlights research and technology designed to better monitor and improve water quality — and the benefits of cooperative, coordinated effort. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
StewardshipBayer Lands Honor For Bee Care Center, Other Initiatives
June 3, 2014
Bayer Corp. has been named a 2014 Responsible Care Company of the Year by the American Chemistry Council, thanks in large part to its Drive Toward Zero initiative and North American Bayer Bee Care Center. Read More
StewardshipStrip-Tillage: A Sustainable Effort
March 3, 2014
As sustainable agriculture grows in popularity, interest in custom strip-tillage is growing. Read More

Trending Articles

HerbicidesAdjusting To The New Reality Of Weed Control
November 4, 2014
Even with new cropping systems being readied for market introductions, weed control will remain a challenge for many. Read More
StewardshipResponsibleAg Begins Auditor Training
October 31, 2014
ResponsibleAg auditor training is now underway at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. Read More
InsecticidesNew Research Study Shows The Value Of Neonics
October 29, 2014
The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the U.S. and Canada. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More

Latest News

soybean field
Crop InputsABM Patents Microbial R&D Technique
November 25, 2014
Focused Microbial Diversity (FMD) is a newly patented technique employed by Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) to research and develop microbials that will be used in ABM products Read More
Crop InputsStorage Options Help Grain Growers Go To Market
November 24, 2014
While on-farm storage in a traditional upright storage bin is one possibility for storing grain, it may not be for everyone. Read More
Eric SfiligojGiving Thanks For Another Great Year
November 24, 2014
As Thanksgiving Day 2014 arrives, agriculture has plenty to be thankful for. Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Cost-Cutting Program To Affect 1,800 Jobs
November 24, 2014
The company's Accelerating Operational Leverage program will result in job reductions and relocations totaling around 1,800 across the company, the majority of which will occur in 2015. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Announces Operator Of The Year Finalists
November 20, 2014
Four custom applicators have been selected by AGCO Application Equipment as finalists for 2014 Operator of the Year, an honor that recognizes them as being among the top professionals in their industry throughout North America. Read More
MicronutrientsH.J. Baker Expands Tiger-Sul Business
November 20, 2014
H.J. Baker has created and filled two strategic positions in business development and sales within its Crop Performance Division. Read More
soybean field
FertilizerGeneral Mills Honors United Suppliers For Nitrogen Opti…
November 19, 2014
United Suppliers winning proposal detailed SUSTAIN, a consulting network that provides customized products and services for farmers using a needs-based system approach. Read More
EmployeesOhio AgriBusiness Association Awards $25,000 In Scholar…
November 19, 2014
Each year, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust scholarship program awards scholarship dollars to students enrolled in an agriculture-related field attending several state colleges. Read More
ManagementServi-Tech Names New CEO
November 17, 2014
Servi-Tech has named Greg Ruehle its new president and CEO. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Ag Acquires Colorado Aerial Application Outlet
November 17, 2014
Ft. Lupton, CO-based Reck Aviation — a full-service chemical application company providing aerial crop applications of fertilizers and crop protection products — will operate as part of Pinnacle's AgOne Application Services brand. Read More
Eric SfiligojMcDonald’s Message: Biotech Crops Scarier Than Cancer
November 17, 2014
Despite their potential health benefits, one of the world’s largest potato users will pass on a new biotech offering. Read More
MicronutrientsWinField Releases 2014 NutriSolutions Results
November 14, 2014
A number of significant regional and national crop deficiency trends emerged from the 2014 WinField NutriSolutions tissue sampling program. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Opens Chinese Production Lines
November 14, 2014
The occasion was the official launch of the Tiger-Sul sulphur Bentonite production line of two much anticipated fertilizer products in China, T90CR sulphur fertilizer and TZinc micronutrient enhanced sulphur fertilizer. Read More
ManagementOhio Certified Crop Adviser Program Accepting Nominatio…
November 14, 2014
The award recognizes an individual who delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production in Ohio. Read More
HerbicidesSyngenta Announces Acuron Trial Plot Results
November 14, 2014
Acuron was tested at 167 trial locations across 35 states. Trials included 95 Syngenta locations, 54 university locations and 18 distributor locations. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Expands Sales Force
November 13, 2014
The new sales representatives will work with growers, retail partners and distributors to oversee technical training and product education. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Raises $100K For Wounded Warrior Project
November 13, 2014
AGCO Corp. partnered with local AGCO dealers across the U.S. and Canada to raise nearly $100,000 in support of wounded service veterans. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Launch Of Enlist Duo Herbici…
November 12, 2014
It will be launched in conjunction with a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn, and seed production of Enlist soybeans in 2015. Read More