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

StewardshipOhio Grower: Why Water Quality Matters To Me
August 3, 2015
Fresh off the first anniversary of last summer’s unfortunate Toledo Water Crisis — which was largely attributed in mainstream media Read More
StewardshipExcellence Through Stewardship Reaches 30 Members
August 3, 2015
Excellence Through Stewardship, a non-profit that promotes the adoption of best practices and stewardship in agricultural technology, reached the milestone Read More
StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosphorus Is Leaving Fields
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
StewardshipOhio Farmers Improving Water Quality Through Fertilizer Applicator Training
July 15, 2015
Since last fall, 6,586 growers and producers responsible for farming some 1 million acres of Buckeye State farmland have gone Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Feed Division Facilities Receive Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification
July 13, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Feed Division, a marketer and distributor of value-added feed ingredients for the aquaculture, livestock and pet food industries Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Expands To Brazil With Acquisition
July 8, 2015
BRANDT has acquired a majority interest in Target Brasil Fertilizantes Ltda. through its Brazilian subsidiary. Target Brasil manufactures, distributes and Read More
Latest News
StewardshipOhio Grower: Why Water Quality Matters To Me
August 3, 2015
Fresh off the first anniversary of last summer’s unfortunate Toledo Water Crisis — which was largely attributed in mainstream media Read More
Young soybean field
Industry NewsH.J. Baker To Build New Facility In Emporia, KS
August 3, 2015
H.J. Baker has announced the expansion of its Animal Health and Nutrition division with the ground breaking of a new Read More
Young corn plants
Crop InputsNufarm Reorganizing Ag, Industrial Vegetation Managemen…
August 3, 2015
Today Nufarm announced a reorganization of its Agriculture and Industrial Vegetation Management sales and marketing organizations effective August 1, 2015. Read More
StewardshipExcellence Through Stewardship Reaches 30 Members
August 3, 2015
Excellence Through Stewardship, a non-profit that promotes the adoption of best practices and stewardship in agricultural technology, reached the milestone Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
FungicidesReport: Sudden Death Syndrome Symptoms Appearing In Soy…
July 30, 2015
Last week, symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS) began to appear in April 15-planted soybeans at the University of Illinois’s Read More
Seed/BiotechAdvanta Seeds Adds New Phoenix Corn Hybrids
July 30, 2015
Corn growers in the High Plains and Western states have new options available for the 2016 growing season from Advanta Read More
ManagementTechnology and agriculture: a Futurist’s Perspective
July 30, 2015
Futurist David Zach, speaking at this week’s InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, shared thoughts on the benefits and limitations of Read More
Biofuels Plant in Lousiana
Industry NewsIdle Biofuels Plant In Louisiana To Reopen As Ammonia F…
July 30, 2015
A Lithuania-based company plans to spend $265 million to reopen an idle biofuels refinery in Grant Parish as an ammonia Read More
FFA at Monsanto Booth at the 2015 National Farm Machinery Show
Industry NewsFive Students Receive The 2015 Monty’s Plant Food Compa…
July 29, 2015
This fall, five college-bound students will have financial support through the Monty’s Plant Food Company FFA Scholarship. All five scholarship Read More
GYPSOIL Blendable Pellets
Crop InputsBeneficial Reuse Management Launches Pelletized Gypsum …
July 29, 2015
Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM) announced this week at Ag Media Summit that its GYPSOIL Pelletized Products Division will open a Read More
StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosph…
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
FertilizerKoch Agronomic Services Launches N-TEGRATION Technology
July 27, 2015
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC (KAS) has launched  N-TEGRATION Technology, a process technology platform designed to enable production of enhanced efficiency fertilizers at Read More
HerbicidesExpert: IARC Herbicide Classifications Leading To Confu…
July 24, 2015
Few people in the crop protection industry had heard of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) before this Read More
ManagementFCI Trade Summit Update & Precision Tank Turns 50
July 23, 2015
Editors Dave Frabotta and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the upcoming FCI Trade Summit in Las Vegas, NV, and how Precision Tank Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesUSDA Deregulates Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Cotton Trait
July 23, 2015
The USDA today issued its decision deregulating Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist cotton trait in the U.S. The USDA has now completed its Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Showcases Versatile Product Por…
July 23, 2015
Technology has revolutionized agriculture by bringing farmers, retailers and distributors to the forefront of the digital age. To meet the Read More