A Celebration Of Facilities

 

Welcome to the first annual CropLife® Facilities Report! We hope you find this special section on our Web site an eye-opening, as well as informative, look at some the ag retail industry’s newest and most innovative locations.

In this report:

But first, let’s consider some perspective on this topic. There’s something undeniably special about the new. Who hasn’t stepped into a new car, closed their eyes and taken a deep breath to draw in that “new car smell.” Or gingerly brushed a hand across the face of a brand new tablet or smartphone.

For your average ag retailer, the closest equivalent to these “brushes with newness” tend to come from having brand new facilities. I got to see this for myself first-hand on a recent visit to central Louisiana. There, situated between the cities of Alexandria and Boyce is a Crop Production Services (CPS) outlet which was constructed and opened approximately four years ago.

“We originally had a much older facility we were running our business out of, and it was really in need of an upgrade,” says Robbie Scarborough Sr., marketing manager, South for CPS Boyce. “Now, with our new facility, we really have something extra special to show our customers and community neighbors.”

Of course, there are other reasons why ag retailers build new facilities. For many operations, new construction can be an effort to improve their business while serving their grower-customers better. “Logistically, it was very difficult to keep every product that our customers wanted on hand at all times,” said Troy Pearl, co-owner and special projects manager for J.B. Pearl Sales & Service Inc., St. Marys, KS, in a recent CropLife article on the company’s new fertilizer plant. “As our trucks and machines kept getting bigger, loading them in a timely fashion became a real challenge.”

A similar tale was told by Steve Martin, general manager for CPS’ Mid-South Division in Missouri. “I was constantly hearing griping from folks because our retail plants couldn’t get fertilizer on time, especially with the application season getting more compressed each year,” said Martin in a 2010 interview with CropLife focusing on the company’s new mega fertilizer hub. “Also, we needed to find a way to get product to our retail locations while not at the mercy of the river stages.”

And The Survey Says . . .

Besides these stories from the ag retailers themselves, we also heard from numerous construction companies and plant suppliers over the past few years describing just how strong the appetite for new facilities was, and continued to be. “We have never been this busy in terms of new construction and inquiries from potential customers,” said Steven Anderson, national accounts manager, sales & marketing for Stueve Construction Co., Algona, IA, at a 2010 winter trade show.

He said virtually the same thing at a 2011 summer trade.

And both winter and summer trade shows in 2012 and 2013.

Another source of information on this uptick in new facility building was our magazine’s annual CropLife 100 survey. For the past 30 years, CropLife has sent out a survey each summer/fall to the nation’s top ag retail organizations. In addition to collecting volumes of data on company sales, crop input/services percentages and self-propelled sprayer manufacturer preferences, we have typically asked a few questions about industry consolidation. Inevitably, many of these lead to information on new plant construction, as many acquired retailers have their operations condensed from five outlets into one.

Of course, when some observers to the ag retail marketplace see a trend experience substantial growth year-after-year, they inevitably begin to think this boom cycle will ultimately turn bust. Since the beginning of the 2010s, we’ve heard several industry friends (and a few coworkers) warn that the ag retail construction bubble “would soon burst.”

With many dire predictions that 2014 would be “the year” agriculture experienced a market downturn from various industry analysts and trend watchers, we decided to confront the ag retail facility question head on. So in our 2013 CropLife 100 retailer survey, we asked a simple question: Which choice best summaries your overall expenditure plans for plant construction and renovation in 2014 compared to 2013? In our minds, this should have given a strong indication of whether or not the top ag retailers were inclined to keep adding new plants to the nation’s landscape or felt the need to “hold back some” given agricultural market uncertainty.

When the results were tallied, ag retailers might as well have written three simple words on their CropLife 100 forms to this question: “Full steam ahead!” Somewhat surprisingly, 81% of the CropLife 100 retailers will spend as much or more money on new construction than they did during 2013. Only 19% were planning to spend less money than in previous years.

The Genesis Of A Special Report

Armed with these figures, we at CropLife decided that the time was right to feature several of these showplace facilities in the pages of our magazine and on our Website. So in December 2013, we began drawing up the plans for publishing a special insert to CropLife which would highlight some of the best new ag retail outlets the industry has to offer.

But in addition to just telling the stories behind these construction projects, we wanted to do more. What about providing detailed specifications on each of these innovative facilities? Information on the site plans? And we wanted lots and lots of pictures from these outlets, showing the key features in some detail (with some in print and many more available on in Retail Facilities section on CropLife.com).

The first product offering resulting from all these plans is what you now hold in your hands, dear reader: The first annual CropLife Retail Facilities Report. Within the 20 pages in the print report, you will find information on seven ag retail outlets that have been deemed the pinnacle of design, form and function by the construction companies and product suppliers that helped build them. Along with short stories on what each plant owner/company was hoping to accomplish and how these visions became reality, you will find a special Specs-At-Glance section and comments from the suppliers on how they helped bring forth these showplace facilities. There’s also information on how to contact these suppliers. In addition, by visiting www.croplife.com you will see even more photographs and plant details.

We hope you enjoy this special insert to CropLife magazine. A special “thank you” goes out to all the ag retail operations and industry suppliers that were willing to share not only their time, but intimate plant details with us to make this report possible. Without your help and assistance, turning our vision into a real-life project would not have happened.

Leave a Reply

Retail Facilities Stories

An aerial shot of the new facility at Green Valley Ag in Wayland, MI. The company wanted rail access and increased storage capacity.
Retail FacilitiesA Celebration Of Facilities
July 7, 2014
Ag retailers have been building new outlets for several years — and it’s time to take a closer look at some of the industry’s new showpiece locations. Read More
Retail FacilitiesA&B Welding Develops Efficient Liquid Fertilizer Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 8, 2014
Heritage Cooperative needed an efficient fertilizer plant. And with help from A&B Welding, that’s exactly what the company got. Read More
Retail FacilitiesNew Ag Retail Facilities: The Importance Of Pre-Planning
July 7, 2014
Recognizing the need for a new facility is only half the battle, say industry insiders. Before the first scoop of dirt comes out of the ground, there are plenty of other details that need to be worked out. Read More
Retail FacilitiesWaconia Manufacturing Builds Facility Designed For Speed, Efficiency
July 7, 2014
To make its new hub facility more efficient, Cooperative Elevator enlisted the aid of Waconia Manufacturing. Read More

Trending Articles

FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. 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
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

Latest News

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Crowd Tops 2013 Show
September 19, 2014
The 52nd annual Ohio State University Farm Science Review welcomed more than 130,000 farmers, industry professionals, FFA students and agricultural enthusiasts during the three-day event. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Approves Enlist Following Rigorous Review
September 18, 2014
Dow AgroSciences now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits, which is expected in the near future. Read More
BlendersYargus Appoints New Plant Manager
September 18, 2014
Steve Shaffer will direct and coordinate daily operations at the company’s Marshall, IL, manufacturing plant, where the Layco line of material handling equipment is produced. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires Kansas-Based Cedar Ridge Supply
September 16, 2014
Cedar Ridge Supply will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More
StewardshipCCAs Making Headway With 4R Program In Lake Erie Wester…
September 9, 2014
Certified Crop Advisers are implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Lake Erie's Western Basin to improve water quality. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
Crop InputsFMC Announces Cheminova Takeover
September 8, 2014
FMC Corporation today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cheminova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries. Read More