No Gambling Here

Silverado Tanks FacilityLindsay Dixon, field consultant, looks at the activity around the loading pad, puts her hands in her jacket pockets and smiles. “It’s unusual to see so many of these guys here,” she says, “but since it’s so wet they aren’t out spraying today.”

Here in Yerington, NV, home to Silverado Ranch Supply, surprise moisture is indeed a rare occurance. Average rainfall for the area runs about 4 inches per year. This day, though, marks another day in a pattern that has delivered 2 inches of rain — half a typical year’s supply — within the 10 days just past.

“Growers are holding their water,” says Bill Chounet, Silverado owner-operator. “They’ve already paid for their irrigation water.”

It’s just another day of managing crop production variables for Chounet. He started this business in western Nevada two decades ago after moving over the Sierra Nevada mountains from California. Concerned with the difficulty vegetable growers had in getting quality inputs and service here in Lyon County, Chounet began to warehouse fertilizer and sell crop protection products to growers along with recommendations. The business has grown into three companies: Silverado Ranch Supply, Advanced Applications, and PROfessional Agronomic Consulting.

A Diverse Market

There are thousands of acres of lettuce and onions under Silverado’s care. There are also dozens of fields of other crops including garlic, baby leaf spinach, and alfalfa.

“We help raise the stuff that goes into the bagged salad you see at the grocery store,” explains Chounet.

The company has now been certified with a “NutriClean” status for adherence to strict protocols for inspection, sampling, and testing of product purity.

“Lindsay (Dixon) will do all the food safety (tissue) sampling and she will organize it to help growers gain certification for organic produce if desired,” Chounet explains. To him it’s another part of being proactive, staying on top of the regulations and exceeding customer expectations.

“It’s like, no one told us to build containment or put up a fence — we’ve done these things voluntarily,” says Chounet. “And I think we have a great relationship with the state agencies and local officials because we’ve been proactive.”

Dry fertilizer is under roof, and liquid fertilizer and chemicals are diked and contained. The entire yard is fenced and containment is planned for the runoff of the whole site, just to make sure. After learning there was no program to recycle containers in Nevada, Chounet engineered a proposal and located a grant to get started. Containers are now recycled.

Chounet’s ingenuity is on display when he gets that little something extra out of his customer-appreciation dinner. Chounet includes everyone in supporting the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. The Club does the food, Chounet pays the bill, plus 30% on top for the service and he encourages his suppliers to contribute, too. And in the midst of it, all his customers get a great meal and are made part of the community spirit. “I suppose the Boys and Girls Club ends up netting $5,000 or $6,000 for the deal,” he says.

Chounet says any success he has is really about his people. “I’ve got loyal people and that’s something I look for,” he says. “I have a few tough requirements.” Like: all field staff need to get an applicator license. And most field staff get a HAZMAT license so they can haul any of these products Silverado handles. And, he says, ” we do a lot of meetings” on the different crops — alfalfa, garlic, onions, and so on.

“I don’t want attendees here,” says Chounet. ” I want participants. I want my people to have a passion for service and a passion for crop production. We attempt to gain as professional of people as we can get — we really stress on any job we do being aware of the environment and also the grower. We GPS-map all the growers’ fields so we don’t make any mistakes in application. This business is not any one specific thing. I think it’s more important to have an attitude for it. An attitude that carries into anything you do.”

Spend a day with Chounet and his passion is easy to see. He’s the guy at the town lunch spot that everyone knows has a joke. It seems that everyone has his cell phone number. Questions about application. Scouting. A plane trip to California to check a field or countless other tasks. All taken in stride, all part of the program.

“There’s no way I really want to stop,” he says. “I love what we are doing out here.”

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
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unification Approved By Board, Still Awaits Member Approval
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
Latest News
Waterhemp in soybean stubble
HerbicidesEPA Signs Off On Monsanto’s Warrant Ultra Premix
May 27, 2015
Soybean and cotton growers looking for new tools to manage weeds will have a new, first-of-its-kind option in 2016 with Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesSTUDY: Weed Diversity Primarily Influenced By Geography
May 27, 2015
The potential long-term impacts of glyphosate-resistant crops on biodiversity of the agricultural landscape have been the subject of controversy. A Read More
Seed/BiotechAgrilead Forms Distribution Alliance With Kansas-Based …
May 27, 2015
Agrilead, Inc. announces the formation of a strategic alliance with KALO, Inc. of Overland Park, KS. Through the alliance, KALO Read More
EquipmentPrecision Tank Announces A&B Welding Acquisition
May 27, 2015
Precision Tank, a specialized tank and equipment manufacturer, announced today the acquisition of A&B Welding of Thompson, IA, a manufacturer Read More
Allied Cooperative Grain Plant
ManagementTraining Program Gives First Responders Skills For Grai…
May 27, 2015
When stored grain forms hard bridges, columns and other irregularities, those working to correct it find themselves at risk of Read More
Industry NewsBASF Sponsors Space Farming Research Project
May 26, 2015
Is it possible to produce large quantities of high quality vegetables on a space station, about 320 kilometers away from Read More
FertilizerTexas Ammonium Nitrate Bill Passes Senate, Heads To Gov…
May 26, 2015
The Texas State Senate gave final approval last Thursday to new regulations for ammonium nitrate, reports The Dallas Morning News Read More
Young corn plants
Industry NewsArysta Europe Details New Organizational Structure
May 26, 2015
Arysta LifeScience Europe recently announced a new organizational structure to leverage its scale and accelerate the company’s growth in this Read More
Syngenta Sign
Eric SfiligojMonsanto-Syngenta Could Hinge On A Judgment Of Solomon …
May 26, 2015
In the bible, the reputation of King Solomon’s wisdom in matters of despite comes from a tale of one child Read More
ManagementA New Sprayer Company & UAV Research In The Spotlig…
May 21, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about a Dutch sprayer manufacturer entering the U.S. with a super-sized entry and Read More
HerbicidesFirst U.S. Sale Of Enlist Duo Herbicide Made By Dow Agr…
May 21, 2015
Dow AgroSciences has recorded the first U.S. sale of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. This marks the first commercial Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manu…
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
EquipmentNORAC Options Coming To TerraGator
May 19, 2015
Utilizing NORAC’s Standard Control technology, boom height control is now available for TerraGators with Airmax Precision 2 and Benson Booms. This Read More
Crop InputsHelena Introduces New Soil Health Product
May 19, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. is helping agricultural producers maximize yields and efficiency with the introduction of Liquid Chisel, a new product Read More
Stewardship4R Nutrient Management Planning Certification Now Avail…
May 19, 2015
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) program announce a new specialty certification in Read More
Environmental Defense Fund logo
Paul SchrimpfEnvironmental Defense Fund: Appreciating Partners
May 19, 2015
I WAS deep in the throes of preparation for the Commodity Classic meeting that took place this past February, trying Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
May 19, 2015
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
Syngenta Sign
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Lawyer’s Victory Claim In Vi…
May 18, 2015
A plaintiff’s lawyer has issued a public statement claiming that damages have been awarded in the Agrisure Viptera corn lawsuits Read More