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
Top 100 Articles
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
corn field
CropLife 100The Andersons’ Humic DG Now Available In Canada
February 13, 2015
The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group has announced its Humic DG product is now available to customers in the Canadian turf, agriculture and horticulture markets. Read More
Latest News
ManagementKey Takeaways From Commodity Classic Event
March 6, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj debrief on their experience at the 20th annual Commodity Classic conference and tradeshow last Read More
Training
SoftwareFulfilling A Training Need
March 6, 2015
Tri Ag and CSE Software hope to introduce a new hands-on simulator for custom applicator tudoring. Read More
RR2X soybeans surround untreated check (center)
Industry NewsArysta Hires New Midwest Territory Sales Manager
March 5, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently named Jonathan “Jon” Tone as the Territory Sales Manager in the Midwest sales region. Read More
Fertilizer360 Yield Center: Try These 5 Steps To Fine Tune Nitrog…
March 5, 2015
Yield Center 360 advises that an effective nitrogen management plan needs to focus on how much N a particular field and corn crop needs, as well as how to properly manage N throughout the growing season — with adjustments along the way. Read More
Precision AgFarmobile Coming Online In 2015
March 5, 2015
A new startup is looking to make collecting and selling ag data a more rewarding proposition for growers. Read More
Crop InputsCommodity Classic 2015 Sets Attendance High Mark
March 4, 2015
With nearly 8,000 total attendees, the 2015 Commodity Classic convention and trade show, which took place last week in Phoenix, AZ, shattered previous records for the landmark event, Read More
Young corn plants
FertilizerNew Nitrogen Stabilizer From Simplot Protects Fertilize…
March 4, 2015
By using OmniPierce Technology, Eclipse-N from Simplot Grower Solutions coats and protects more nitrogen, increasing nitrogen efficiency and decreasing loss due to volatilization. Read More
Industry NewsOhio Corn And Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Soybean A…
March 4, 2015
The associations truly appreciate the comprehensive approach and diligent work that the Ohio House of Representatives has dedicated to addressing water quality and House Bill 61. Read More
Mahindra Implement
Industry NewsMahindra USA Aligns With Paladin Attachment For Impleme…
March 4, 2015
Mahindra USA will begin utilizing Paladin Attachments as its implement supplier in April 2015. Read More
Crop InputsValent BioSciences Acquires Mycorrhizal Applications
March 4, 2015
The acquisition adds another strategic platform to VBC’s rapidly expanding global biorational business, providing additional tools for the Biorational Window platform being developed with its parent, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation - Plant Nutrient on the Farm Station
Industry NewsNutrients For Life Foundation Launches New Station Prog…
March 4, 2015
This ready-to-implement station provides an interactive opportunity for farms to showcase crop nutrients’ important role in growing healthy crops. Read More
Adjuvants loading
AdjuvantsAdjuvants Continue Upward Trend
March 4, 2015
A dizzying array of developments in crop protection technologies promise to make specialty adjuvants a crucial piece of the puzzle going forward. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Me…
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
10 Tips for Spring Planter Preparation
Equipment10 Tips For Spring Planter Preparation
March 3, 2015
Kinze Manufacturing offers advice on how to ensure your planter is ready before you hit the field. Read More
Industry NewsOABA 2015 LAUNCH Program Recognizes 20 New Graduates
March 3, 2015
Twenty Ohio agribusiness leaders are being recognized as the latest graduates of Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s LAUNCH program. Read More
EquipmentNew AGCO Website Helps Customers Shop For Certified Pre…
March 3, 2015
RoGator sprayers are among the wide range of CPO equipment available through AGCO's site. Read More
Enlist spray Demo
HerbicidesGuiding New Herbicide Systems’ Launches
March 3, 2015
Under careful watch, the new 2,4-D- and dicamba-tolerant crops hit more acres this season. Read More
Eric SfiligojCommodity Classic 2015: Playing The Waiting Game
March 2, 2015
There was plenty of future-talk at this year’s event as companies (and growers) are largely in a holding pattern of sorts. Read More