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

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
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

ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. 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
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More

Latest News

Crop InputsBASF Is Betting On A Bright Agricultural Future
September 1, 2014
The crop protection products giant is gearing up for a busy time in agriculture by investing in both product production and development over the next couple of years. Read More
Eric SfiligojAn Erie Feeling For Ag
September 1, 2014
Plenty of water issues have been in the news lately, including the continuing drought in California. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires California-Based Retailer
August 29, 2014
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings will acquire Kerman Ag Resources, Inc., which will operate under Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
Allied Cooperative Grain Plant
ManagementArcadia Co-op To Merge With Allied Cooperative
August 28, 2014
Allied Cooperative has announced that members of Arcadia Co-op voted in favor of a merger with Allied Cooperative, paving the way for the consolidation which will be effective on December 1, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesBioinsecticide VENERATE Now Registered In California
August 27, 2014
Marrone Bio Innovations' VENERATE is a new tool to help California growers control crop-damaging insect pests, fight the development of insect resistance and reduce pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. Read More
CropLife 100Two Iowa-Based Ag Co-ops To Merge
August 27, 2014
The Board of Directors and management of United Western Coop, Missouri Valley, IA has completed a merger with Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, IA, effective September 1, 2014. Read More
FertilizerKoch Expands AGROTAIN Nitrogen Stabilizer Portfolio
August 26, 2014
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC has added two new innovative nitrogen stabilizers to the AGROTAIN product family – AGROTAIN ADVANCED and AGROTAIN DRI-­MAXX. Read More
Seed/BiotechDuPont To Build Two Seed Treatment Centers
August 26, 2014
DuPont has announced construction on two state-of-the-art centers dedicated to developing and testing seed treatment formulations, applications and seed handling techniques in an important step toward bringing new solutions to growers. Read More
Seed/BiotechLoveland Products Acquires A Controlling Interest In Ag…
August 26, 2014
Loveland Products, a subsidiary of Agrium , has announced the company has acquired a controlling interest in Agricen, a Dallas-area agricultural biotechnology company delivering biochemical-based products for efficient and sustainable plant nutrition. Read More
StewardshipUp Close Look At The 2014 Environmental Respect Award W…
August 25, 2014
The 2014 Environmental Respect Award winners were honored recently at the 24th annual event in Wilmington, DE. Read More
Eric SfiligojAg Science Rejection Carries Consequences
August 25, 2014
As innuendo and fear dog the regulatory process, agriculture can’t get the new tools it needs to combat world hunger. Read More
LegislationFarmers Dismayed As New Farm Bill Dumps Direct Payments
August 25, 2014
The threatened end of cash subsidies to the nation’s row crop farmers dates back through at least the last two iterations of national agriculture policy legislation. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK CEO To Retire
August 22, 2014
GROWMARK chief executive officer Jeff Solberg has announced his retirement effective September 15, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesDuPont’s Prevathon Approved For Dry Beans
August 22, 2014
DuPont Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received EPA registration for foliar use on dry bean crops, including dried shelled peas and beans. Read More
ManagementNCGA DuPont New Leaders Program Enters Sophmore Season
August 20, 2014
The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to announce the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Links Up With Mitsui, Hokusan
August 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co., announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley. Read More
SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More