by SUSAN MANN
Ontario farmers will be able to load their trucks faster with more blends of crop nutrients once the Growmark, Inc. new state-of-the-art fertilizer facility in Ayr is competed next fall.
Growmark announced last month it would build the new 15,000-tonne facility in Ayr. FS Partners, the retail division of Growmark, will manage the facility. FS Partners is a co-op owned by Canadian and United States farmers.
The new plant is shared asset of Growmark and FS Partners, said the Growmark release announcing the construction. FS Partners will use it to serve its farmers customers and Growmark will use it to distribute fertilizers to area retailers.
FS Partners division manager Frank Baron said by email more than 700 Ontario farmers are members of FS Partners and the co-operative’s operating board is made up of eight farmers from Ontario.
Growmark is also an agricultural co-operative providing agronomy, energy, grain marketing, risk management and other services to farmers in more than 40 states in America and in Ontario, according to the company’s Aug. 31 news release.
Baron said the new facility is being built in Ayr because FS Partners already operates a retail and wholesale business at that location.
“This is just expanding the capacity at the site with the addition of a new 15,000-tonne storage capacity building,” he explained. In addition, the facility will have a new blender as the business’s old blender is about 20 years old and needs to be replaced.
Construction of the facility is slated to begin in October and be completed in a year. Baron said the facility will cost $6.5 million to build.
The Growmark release said the new facility is slated to have nine bins “to give flexibility for retail blending needs.”
It will also have a blending system capable of mixing up to 2,000 tonnes of crop nutrients per day, more than doubling the old capacity of 800 tonnes per day, the release said.
Baron noted in his email that with the new blender they will also have the ability to add wet or dry micronutrients or stabilizers to the blend because they will have easy access to the mixer in the new facility.
“This gives us an opportunity to increase the capacity to better serve our customers,” he explained. BF