CPS (Fort Morgan, CO): Starting From Scratch

CPS Fort Morgan

There is no book that teaches how to start a farm supply business from scratch, but if there was, Environmental Respect Award winner Don Geist could write it. Geist is branch manager of the Fort Morgan, CO. Crop Production Services (CPS) 2010 Environmental Respect Award-winning business. Geist and long-time business associate Terry Linker decided to start their new business in 2007. Linker owned the application equipment and Geist sold crop protection products out of his pickup truck.

Both men had many years of experience working for the local co-op, so it didn’t take long for their venture to bare fruit. “We realized it would be very hard to make it entirely on our own,” says Geist. “So we were talking to United Ag Products when they were purchased by Agrium. Once we proved we could be successful working out of our pickups, our business relationship with Agrium’s CPS began to take hold.”

The arrangement, says Geist, allows them to have their own profit and loss statement. “We have to do good or we won’t be here,” he says.

The new CPS unit complete with buildings, modern load out pad, and storage tanks opened its doors in March 2009. Geist says he already has plans to add more liquid fertilizer, seed storage, and a dry blend facility in the coming year. “Overall, every aspect of our business has experienced a fairly large increase in the bottom line in just three years.”

Fertilizer mixing is accomplished at the Fort Morgan unit without a traditional mixer. Instead, multiple products are sent through a flow meter and mixed in the supply lines on the way to the nurse tank. “We only handle fertilizer products twice, first as they come into our storage facility and then when they move to the nurse tank,” says Geist. “We cut three to four hours mixing time out of our day. We mix and load a 1,000-gallon nurse trailer in about 2.5 minutes.”

A limiting factor to crop production in eastern Colorado is water, and Geist attributes his progressive thinking grower-customers for managing this issue through increasing efforts to no-till and minimum-till the soil. “We have learned that no-till works out here, and with new designs for grain drills and modern crop production products the practice is going to continue to increase,” he says.

The Fort Morgan Unit’s field agronomists see resistance as a growing problem in the area. “We need to make sure we do not cause additional resistance,” says Geist. “Very seldom do we ever go into a field and spray straight glyphosate. We always go with a double mode of action, and in our irrigated fields we are selecting three modes of action.

“If noxious weeds take over, we are not going to be able to feed the livestock or feed the people,” he adds. “This land needs to remain productive.”

For Geist environmental respect means following labels. “Nobody wants to contaminate our water. We can control what we put on fields and in our tanks. We try to be very conscientious about this. I’ve got 12 people working here and it’s my job to make sure they live long, happy lives,” he adds.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

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
StewardshipCTIC Granted Nearly $500,000 To Examine Benefits Of Cover Crops
October 17, 2013
The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) has received a $482,000 Conservation Innovation Grant to study the benefits of cover crops. Read More

Trending Articles

EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More
EquipmentGPS: 25 Years And Still Growing
June 2, 2014
The evolution of global positioning systems applications in agriculture remains ongoing as the technology hits a notable milestone. Read More
CropLife 10013 Key Acquisitions Pinnacle Has Made In The First Half Of 2014
May 29, 2014
The only thing that has reached a more frenzied pace than #plant14 might be the multiple acquisitions that Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has made in the first half of the year. Read More

Latest News

FungicidesEPA OKs Two Willowood Fungicides
July 21, 2014
The EPA has approved Willowood Azoxy 2SC and Willowood AzoxyProp Xtra. two widely used broad spectrum, preventative fungicides with systemic and curative properties. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learning Fast As UAVs Take Off
July 17, 2014
Farmers and others interested in how UAVs can be used in agricultural applications were able to learn more about the technology during the recent Precision Aerial Ag Show. Read More
CropLife 100Bobby Knight, Richard Petty To Highlight Ag PhD Field D…
July 17, 2014
Attendees at the July 24 Ag PhD Field Day at Hefty Farms will learn about the latest agricultural technologies, and get a chance to meet legendary sports figures Bobby Knight and Richard Petty. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
July 17, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
A finished Willmar 16-ton side-shooting tender.
TendersNew Production Facility Helps Willmar
July 17, 2014
In 1963, a group of businessmen started Willmar. Today, a half-century later, the company is one of the ag industry’s longest-running brands. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Sells Carbon Credits To Chevrolet, Donate…
July 17, 2014
CF Industries has completed the sale of a large block of carbon reduction credits to Chevrolet, and will donate the net proceeds of $600,000 to the National FFA Foundation. Read More
CropLife 100Grainland Cooperative, Minier Cooperative Grain To Merg…
July 17, 2014
The shareholders of Grainland Cooperative and Minier Cooperative Grain Co. approved a merger of company operations effective August 1, 2014. Read More
ManagementStudy: Drought Costing California Billions
July 17, 2014
A new study has found the drought has cost the state $2.2 billion, primarily in lost farm revenue and wages. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Resumes Production At Oklahoma Nitrogen C…
July 17, 2014
The company had shut down production at the Woodward, OK, facility in April to address an issue in one of the site’s boilers. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis To Relocate Agribusiness Division To Denve…
July 16, 2014
The move Eastward will allow Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division to be more accessible to relevant geographies and is expected to enhance communication and collaboration among the division’s nearly 3,000 employees. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybe…
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Drive To Thrive 10 Finalists Announced
July 15, 2014
Finalists are chosen based on the quality of their essays and photos depicting what makes them thrive. Read More
FertilizerHow To Minimize Phosphorus Losses In Runoff
July 15, 2014
Phosphorus losses from agricultural fields can be divided into three categories: flash losses of soluble phosphorus, slow leak losses and erosion events. Here's how to minimize losses in each instance. Read More
ManagementCalifornia Drought Threatens To Dry Up Farm Wells
July 15, 2014
Farmers hit hardest by California's drought could begin to see wells run dry next year, according to a new study by The Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Read More
Precision AgPoll: Do you plan to attend this year’s InfoAg Co…
July 14, 2014
This year’s InfoAg Conference is just two weeks away. The premier event in precision agriculture takes place July 29-31 at Read More
LegislationFarm Bill Implementation Continues
July 14, 2014
The bill provides $28 billion over the next five years for conservation on private lands while streamlining several old programs and creating new ones like the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Read More
MicronutrientsH.J. Baker Continues Expansion Of Atmore Facility
July 14, 2014
The company has improved its molten sulphur unloading system to help meet increased sulphur demand at Tiger-Sul’s Atmore, AL, facility. Read More
Stewardship4R Certification Training Kicks Off As Lake Erie Algae …
July 14, 2014
As scientists prepare for the coming season of potential algae blooms on Lake Erie, nutrient service providers have been signing up for the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program at a steady pace. Read More