Willard Agri-Service (DE): Water Guardians

Willard Agri-Service Liquid Fertilizer System

The Delmarva Peninsula is home base for the 2010 Regional Environmental Respect Award winner Willard Agri-Service of Green­wood, DE. “We are blessed to do business on a little oasis of very diverse crop production,” says Mike Twining, Greenwood branch general manager. “We are surrounded on three sides by water, and we have a nice coastal plains soil that is very productive and responds very well to irrigation.”

With all of these blessings come some challenges, not the least of which is a water table only 4 feet below the surface as well as the nearby very environmentally delicate coastal estuary of the Chesapeake Bay. “In this region you can drive an hour or two and be in some of the most urbanized areas in the country,” Twining explains. “The growers here are some of the brightest in the country, they make good decisions. The message we have is that ecologic and economic decisions are not mutually exclusive.

“Our customers are living on 8 inches of top soil and they must be good managers. You can’t just throw product out there,” he says. “We can remain competitive as any part of the country. I think we are a jewel on the East Coast,” he says with a proud smile.

The Willard organization has developed a core strategy based around being what they call being “knowledge providers” for their customers. Some of this knowledge comes from years of data collection through their High Q precision agriculture computer- supported program. “We can demonstrate through literally hundreds of thousands of acres of data that we have an extremely positive environmental impact,” says Twining.

The Willard technical staff has also developed a data collection system that records every operation completed on a customer’s field. “This system allows us to go back later and say, so we did X, Y and Z. How can we correlate what we’ve done so that we can make a better decision the next year?” explains Twining. “Growers have been asking how can I do better for a very long time. “We’ve just developed a system to help them answer that question.”

The Willard Greenwood facility was completed about six years ago, and its unique design has provided an efficient, environmentally safe, computer-directed operation. “When you see a truck pull into the plant, there’s been an incredible amount of thought as to what goes into that tank,” explains Twining. “It goes all the way back to the soil sample, but even more with High Q we are evaluating field productivity. We’re making cropping plans and we’re helping growers fine-tune their production in many ways.”

The Willard load-out area has four bays with overhead loading through a computer mixing system that brings fertilizer products into a 25-ton liquid mixer and then on to overhead tanks. Willard nurse trucks are equipped with stainless steel nurse tanks that accept bulk herbicides that are also loaded from an overhead closed system. The entire storage, loading, and mixing facility is completely diked. The overhead system can load a semi with 24 tons of fertilizer in about four minutes, according to Twining.

“The environmental debate so often gets lost in the mire of waste management and spills and the screen shots of a couple of bad actors that do something that seems outrageous,” says Twining. “My challenge to these folks is to say, ‘show me world peace on an empty stomach and show me how anyone else has better solutions than the American farmer.'”

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Other Changes
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More
Corn and ditch
ManagementStudy: Saturated Buffers Reduce Nitrates From Subsurface Field Drainage Systems
July 19, 2016
The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory Read More
StewardshipAg Organizations Partner To Host 4R Technology Field Day
July 12, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) is partnering with The Fertilizer Institute, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Soybean Council, Environmental Read More
Crop InputsExperts Predict 2016 Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom ‘Less Severe’ (w/Gallery)
July 8, 2016
As sun-drenched media members and various other dignitaries crowded around the back deck of the docked Bio-Lab – bobbing gently Read More
Trending Articles
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Latest News
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Shareholder Proposes Monsanto ‘Host…
July 20, 2016
One of Bayer AG’s top 20 shareholders said Wednesday it may make sense for the life-science company to launch an Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsNew Leaf Symbiotics Snags Former Monsanto Microbials Le…
July 20, 2016
NewLeaf Symbiotics, announced today the appointment of Dr. Janne Kerovuo as Vice President for Research and Discovery.  Dr. Kerovuo comes Read More
Corn and ditch
ManagementStudy: Saturated Buffers Reduce Nitrates From Subsurfac…
July 19, 2016
The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentAgronomists, CCAs, Custom Applicators Invited To FSR Ag…
July 19, 2016
Agronomists, Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and custom applicators can stay current on agronomy issues on the grounds of the Farm Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of…
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Latest Monsanto Rumors: A Game Of Tones
July 18, 2016
When companies are engaged in the back-and-forth of the acquisition game, the tone of their various announcements is always important. Read More
Nozzle spray close-up
AdjuvantsWest Central Distribution Introduces New Elite Family O…
July 14, 2016
West Central Distribution recently released a new line of Elite adjuvants to work alongside the new herbicide technologies that combat Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsBayer Makes New Offer For Monsanto
July 14, 2016
Bayer AG boosted its takeover offer for Monsanto Co. to about $65 billion in a bid to overcome the U.S. Read More
ManagementAn Update on Water
July 14, 2016
CropLife Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matthew Grassi discuss agricultural water issues in conjunction with a recent field trip in Ohio. Read More
Co-Alliance employee
EmployeesNew Purdue Program To Focus On Talent Management
July 14, 2016
Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business is starting a new professional development program to help food and agribusiness Read More
Industry NewsFMC Agricultural Solutions Appoints New Global Regulato…
July 14, 2016
FMC Corp. has named Andy Hedgecock as Global Regulatory Affairs Director for FMC Agricultural Solutions. He joins the company this Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechWhat Can Inoculants Do For You?
July 13, 2016
When it comes to preventing disease and promoting growth in your plants, who couldn’t use a helping hand? By forming Read More
Microbes
Seed/BiotechMighty Farming Microbes: Companies Harness Bacteria To …
July 13, 2016
What if farmers, instead of picking up some agricultural chemicals at their local dealer, picked up a load of agricultural Read More