When you pull in to the gravel drive at Crop Production Services (CPS) in Oakland, IL, you’re not sure if you’re pulling into the facility’s parking lot or the next door neighbor’s house. That is how close this 2012 Regional Environmental Respect Award winner is to town. And it is why the employees and management pay special attention to environmental safety.
“Our facility is located within the city limits, so both safety and our reputation is very important to us,” says Sam Knott, marketing manager for CPS Eastern Illinois Division. “Many of our employees live in the town of Oakland. Several employees serve as volunteers in the local fire department and are ready to respond to any local emergencies as they arise throughout the day. Just like our customers, we earn our living from the soils and we want to do everything we can do to ensure that the Oakland area will be a community of highly productive soils for years to come.”
When leadership remodeled the location several years ago, close proximity to houses and a railway didn’t leave a lot of space. The seed storage facility was built with a curb and a sloped floor to be used to store chemical if the primary chemical storage area became crowded.
A state-of-the-art dry fertilizer building is one of the facility’s most recent additions. The structure was built with heated floors to prevent a buildup of residual fertilizer and moisture on the floor. Bulk chemical tanks have electronic monitoring systems and new sprayers have been outfitted with a John Deere LoadCommand system.
“These systems have an arm that supports the hose on both the tender truck and the sprayer making it easier to transfer product without dragging a hose that may be leaking product into the field,” says Knott. “We’re taking efforts to continuously improve environmental performance and efficiency.”
While new equipment and remodeled buildings help the location remain efficient and safe, according to Knott and the staff, advising and teaching grower customers about crop nutrition and land management is just as important. Soil and plant testing provide CPS crop advisors the information they need to recommend the treatment and micronutrients that will encourage high yields.
“Our customers use nature to effectively produce the world’s food supply,” says Knott. “As a company that provides products that are directly inserted into the environment, it is of the utmost importance that we display and execute practices that promote respect for the environment.”