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

4r Nutrient stewardship
StewardshipNominations For The 4R Advocate Program Due October 31
October 24, 2016
Nominations for the 4R Advocate program are due to The Fertilizer Institute by October 31, 2016. The program recognizes agricultural Read More
Young Corn Field
StewardshipStudy: Ohio Farmers Doing ‘A Good Job Of Managing’ Phosphorus Levels
September 27, 2016
Leaders from Ohio’s largest grain farming organizations announced today that Ohio farmers are doing their part in effectively managing phosphorus Read More
StewardshipMonsanto Invests $1.6 Million In System To Quantify Greenhouse Gas Reductions
September 23, 2016
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Read More
Wilbur-Ellis Sedgwick Grand opening 2015
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Receives ResponsibleAg Certification At Sedgwick Location
September 9, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis Co., a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution of crop protection products, announces the ResponsibleAg certification Read More
Trending Articles
Matt Hopkins15 Twitter Accounts Every Ag Professional Must Follow
October 13, 2016
What do singer Katy Perry and the President of the United States have in common? They are two of the Read More
AGCO RG700 cab
OpinionRoadblocks To Precision Ag Innovation
October 5, 2016
On August 29, I got to preside over the PrecisionAg Innovation Series event, “Game-Changing Advances in Precision Farming Technology,” developed Read More
J.C. Ramsdell containment system
EquipmentClear Opportunity In The Tank Market
October 4, 2016
Crop prices may be down, but steel prices are too — and that’s good news for retailers looking to add some Read More
WinField booth Farm Progress
Special ReportsTalking Weed Management Strategies At Farm Progress 2016
October 2, 2016
The annual Farm Progress Show — this year staged in Boone, IA — is always a great place to catch Read More
Corn Field
Eric SfiligojFacing Ag Industry Challenges
September 26, 2016
At the 2016 annual Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) meeting in September, a pair of crop protection company representatives discussed Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More
Latest News
Patriot 25th anniversary
SprayersCase IH Celebrates 25 Years Of Patriot Sprayers At Bens…
October 24, 2016
Case IH executives, employees and special guests celebrated 25 years of production of Case IH Patriot sprayers in a special Read More
4r Nutrient stewardship
StewardshipNominations For The 4R Advocate Program Due October 31
October 24, 2016
Nominations for the 4R Advocate program are due to The Fertilizer Institute by October 31, 2016. The program recognizes agricultural Read More
Corn close up
Eric SfiligojProtecting Agriculture’s Ability To Feed The World
October 24, 2016
The rate of change coming to agriculture is growing, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This Read More
Student Young Worker CHS
CropLife 100CHS Supports #FirstJob Compact
October 24, 2016
CHS joins the White House and many of the country’s largest employers in signing a new initiative centered on helping Read More
Kennebec Grain terminal
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Kennebec Facility Loads First Rail Cars
October 21, 2016
In a season of firsts for Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Grain Terminal, the first 115-car unit train was loaded with soybeans Read More
ManagementThe Latest Dow-DuPont Rumor, Product of the Year Voting…
October 20, 2016
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj shares a new rumor about the Dow-DuPont merger and updates on two CropLife-driven programs, the CropLife Read More
Soybean Closeup
FungicidesFMC Begins Registration Process For New Fungicide Activ…
October 19, 2016
FMC Agricultural Solutions has begun the joint U.S. EPA and Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency registration process for bixafen, a new Read More
Soil Young Corn
Industry NewsAgribusiness Search Firm Appoints New Managing Partner
October 18, 2016
Morris Bixby Group, a leading agribusiness search firm providing the highest quality professional recruiting and career advancement services since 2000, Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
FertilizerUnited Suppliers Acquires Kansas Fertilizer Business
October 17, 2016
United Suppliers, Inc. has purchased the assets of Evans Enterprises, LLC, an ammonium chloride fertilizer business based in Olathe, KS. Read More
Corn Field
Industry NewsFMC Launches New Operations In Argentina, Exits Joint V…
October 17, 2016
FMC Corp. has exited its joint venture with Ruralco Soluciones S.A. FMC has launched new commercial operations, FMC Quimica S.A., Read More
Dow AgroSciences
InsecticidesRenewed Registration Issued For Products Containing Sul…
October 17, 2016
On October 14, 2016, the U.S. EPA re-established the registration of products containing sulfoxaflor (Isoclast Active), including Transform WG, Closer Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Whys Of Agriculture
October 17, 2016
During 2016, there have been myriad challenges facing the whole agricultural industry. Such wide ranging issues as water protection, sustainable Read More
Young Corn Field
FertilizerImproved Phosphorus Management Essential To Feeding Wor…
October 14, 2016
With a global population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, improved management of key essential nutrients such as Read More
ManagementHarvest and Crop Price Updates; EPA and Crop Protection…
October 13, 2016
Glyphosate and atrazine get public comment support from ARA as each is reviewed by EPA, and the latest on the Read More
Matt Hopkins15 Twitter Accounts Every Ag Professional Must Follow
October 13, 2016
What do singer Katy Perry and the President of the United States have in common? They are two of the Read More
Corn Field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Adds Two Key Account Managers
October 13, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of two key account managers: Doug Hoberty and Rob Wier. Hoberty and Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Development Deal with Scherer Design
October 12, 2016
Deere & Co. announces a joint development agreement with Scherer Design Engineering, Inc. to develop and commercialize kernel processing solutions Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Celebrates 10 Years Of Innovati…
October 12, 2016
Richard Rominger, former Deputy Secretary of the USDA and former agricultural secretary of California, emceed a 10th anniversary luncheon celebration on Read More