Wabash Valley Browns: Keeping The Environmental Spirit Alive

To hear Dmitri Krajec, nutrient management and assistant plant manager, tell it, the Wabash Valley Service Co. in Browns, IL, has always tried to improve its standing, both within the agricultural community and the mainstream world. “If I had to pick just one word that best describes the principles we follow at this facility, it would be innovative,” says Krajec. “We always try to keep ahead of the curve with everything we do — from keeping a well-landscaped entrance to our offices to installing new software programs to aid our workers when they are servicing our grower-customers.”

And this spirit of “doing more” has served the outlet well. In 2009, the Wabash Valley Browns facility was named the National winner in the annual Environmental Respect Award competition, besting hundreds of entries from more than three dozen states as well as four regional winners. “We built this location one section at a time,” said then Area Marketing Coordinator Mike Wilson when accepting the award. “We looked at maintaining environmental responsibility at every single step.”

At that time, these steps included having the facility’s feed and seed warehouse curbed to contain spills and a firewall in the ceiling of the liquid loadout building. In addition, the outlet’s dry fertilizer building featured a blending system designed to eliminate dust in the atmosphere.

And the honors for the outlet continue to pile up. In 2013, the Wabash Valley Browns facility has been named the recipient of the Spirit Award in the Environmental Respect Awards competition. Sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection in partnership with CropLife® magazine, the Spirit Award recognizes those ag retail outlets that previously won regional or national Environmental Respect Awards for their continuing efforts to improve upon their environmentally-friendly policies and procedures.

Numerous Improvements

Overall, Environmental Respect Awards judges thought the Wabash Valley Browns facility deserved this honor for its latest stewardship-minded improvements. This includes the following:

The outlet has placed a manual stop in the chemical bays of its mixing area to stop water flow in case of overfilling or when rinsing containers.

The crop protection product building has been updated with color coded piping from the bulk tanks to the mixing vats to minimize product blending mistakes.

Mini-bulk tanks are now stacked with their valves facing outward in order to detect leaks and allow for easier inspections by employees.

In June, Wabash Valley Browns replaced its existing fertilizer loadouts bins with stainless steel ones. “The previous steel bins quickly rusted under the harsh conditions present,” says Krajec.

Despite all these upgrades, however, Krajec believes that Wabash Valley Browns’ installation of a new logistics software program three years ago is the most important Environmental Respect improvement the facility has made. Before this upgrade, field application work for the outlet began with the salesperson talking to the grower-customer, relaying this information to the blending manager, a blend ticket being generated and sent to a nurse truck driver, who would then hand this to the applicator.

“The logistics system takes much of the headache and risk out of this process,” says Krajec. “Utilizing the Internet and setting our system up on a cloud, the salesperson now has the ability to make their own application orders while speaking with the grower. This automatically sends a blend ticket to the loader and the field boundary to the logistics manager, who can assign it to a specific rig.” Handheld devices used by the applicator and tender driver will then coordinate this information to make certain the proper field is being serviced.

In the future, says Krajec, the Wabash Valley Browns facility will continue to make stewardship-worthy improvements. “Winning a Spirit Award after having won a National Environmental Respect Award is a great honor,” he says. “I think our whole plant and all of our employees work hard at being respectful of our environment and deserve this recognition.”

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 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT, Verdesian Ink Distribution Agreement
December 9, 2014
The agreement grants BRANDT the exclusive right to sell and market Verdesian’s patented Steric chemistry in the Turf and Ornamental and eastern U.S. ag markets under the BRANDT Reaction product line name. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Colors Of Custom Application
December 5, 2014
Although many color spray rigs are in the yards of the nation’s top ag retailers, the majority of them still come in only a few shades. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Invests In Meridian Agriculture Distribution
December 4, 2014
Meridian will provide retailers with supplier-branded products and numerous opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: Entering A New Seed Era
December 4, 2014
The seed category has been re-vitalized during the past few years, and more good news (and varieties) are headed the industry’s way in 2015. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Depressed State Of Fertilizer
December 3, 2014
Following downright giddy growth earlier this decade, fertilizer sales have fallen back down to earth the past two years. Read More

Latest News

Seed/BiotechReport: China Approves Viptera Corn, U.S. Officials Awa…
December 17, 2014
Chinese authorities have informed some agriculture industry officials the government has approved U.S. imports of a type of genetically modified corn developed by Syngenta. Read More
FertilizerMonty’s Plant Food Brings In New Sales Rep
December 16, 2014
Monty's Plant Food Company has hired Warren Kearns as its newest Sales Representative for the South Carolina area. Read More
EquipmentHagie Wins 2014 CropLife IRON Product Of The Year Award
December 15, 2014
The self-propelled sprayer maker has a hit on its hands with the new STS Series model. Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Sees China Approving Contentious GMO Corn Soon
December 15, 2014
Syngenta will make an announcement when it receives official documentation from China that Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, has been cleared for import. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Life Sciences Names Vice President Of Communi…
December 15, 2014
Amy Bugg will oversee the execution of all promotional strategies for the corporate brand and the complete product portfolio. Read More
StewardshipFarmers, Retailers Attend 4R Certification 4U Workshop
December 15, 2014
More than 160 farmers and ag retailer attended the “4R Certification 4U” workshop December 12 to learn more about the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship, water quality research in the area and cost-sharing opportunities. Read More
Matt Hopkins10 Best New Agriculture Apps For 2015
December 15, 2014
These new agriculture apps are certain to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2015 and beyond. Read More
ManagementARA Learnings, Retail Buying Intentions: Welcome To Cro…
December 12, 2014
This informal video program puts news and events effecting retailers into context, and features Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Herbicide-Tolerant Technology Closer To Commer…
December 12, 2014
The final EIS moves Monsanto one step closer to the introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, paving the way to provide access to dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement On Her…
December 12, 2014
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a final environmental impact statement on varieties of cotton and soybeans that have been genetically engineered for resistance to several herbicides, including the one known as dicamba. Read More
CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
LegislationARA Applauds CFATS Passage Prior To Holiday Adjournment
December 11, 2014
The streamlined bill provides a four-year authorization of the CFATS program and guidance to DHS on key issues of chemical facility security Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer CropScience’s ILeVO Approved By EPA
December 11, 2014
EPA has approved ILeVO, the only seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the Sudden Death Syndrome fungus and has activity against dangerous nematodes. Read More
Biologicals in Emerging Markets Map.
Crop InputsBiocontrols Could Quadruple By 2025; Will Regulators Pl…
December 11, 2014
The European experience with GMOs offers caution — and a promise — for biologicals. Read More
Crop InputsBASF Donates $75,000 To Feeding America
December 10, 2014
The donation will support Feeding America’s National Produce Program, an initiative that helps with planning, transportation and logistics to ensure fresh produce deliveries to the 200 member food banks around the country. Read More
InsecticidesHow To Avoid Aphid Infestation In Winter Wheat
December 10, 2014
The best strategy for managing aphid infestations in winter wheat — and the potential yellow dwarf diseases that they transmit — is prevention, according to a South Dakota State University Plant Pathology field specialist. Read More
LegislationDufault Installed As New ARA Chair
December 10, 2014
Dave Dufault, Vice President and General Manager of J.R. Simplot Company's Retail Business, was installed as the 2015 Chairman of the Board for ARA on December 4. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
December 10, 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