Schuyler Cooperative Association unveils new dry fertilizer facility in Richland, Nebraska
The Schuyler Cooperative Association has recently marked the completion of its state-of-the-art dry fertilizer facility at 335 D Road in Richland. Over the decades, the cooperative has consistently used similar machinery for its operations. However, evolving standards and logistical needs in the fertilizer domain prompted the co-op to embark on this upgrade nearly two years prior.
General Manager Bob Speicher elucidated that modern trends in agriculture emphasize the use of biologicals, enabling crops to more efficiently utilize soil nutrients. The new plant is designed to cater to this trend, ensuring sustainable farming practices. “Our aim is to ensure that we don’t adversely affect the soil for future generations,” Speicher noted.
Additionally, the facility enhances the co-op’s capability to stabilize vital fertilizers like nitrogen, phosphate, potash, among others. Speicher highlighted, “This new plant allows us to employ stabilizers in our nitrogen, safeguarding against nitrates contaminating our water table, and impregnate phosphate, minimizing the risk of algae proliferation in ponds.”
While the co-op’s prior facility, largely unchanged since the 1970s, had a capacity of approximately 2,000 tons distributed between two sections, the new establishment boosts this capacity to around 10,000 tons. Manager Joe Sisco emphasized that the older facility remains functional, designated for surplus fertilizer storage.
Furthermore, the newly erected facility features an enhanced blending system, providing precise blends tailored for truck and train collections. Describing the operational nuances, Sisco said, “Upon entering our facility, there’s significant automation. It essentially operates with two personnel: one in the control room supervising blending operations and another on the floor overseeing loading processes using an iPad.”
Both Speicher and Sisco underscored the improved consistency in supply as a significant advantage of the new facility. Efficient storage and loading capabilities ensure seamless distribution.
Significantly, the upgraded infrastructure entails no protracted financial burden for the cooperative’s patrons. “We’ve strategically saved over the years to fund this project without resorting to long-term debt, ensuring that our dividends remain unaffected,” Speicher added.
Source: The Columbus Telegram